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PROVO, UTAH 84602 

Si 2.1:897/1 

U.S. Ethnology Bureau reports 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 

56th Congress, ) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, j Document 

1st Session. \ 1 No. 736. 














1 8 99 


Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Washington, D. G\, July 1, 1897. 

Sir : I have the honor to submit my Eighteenth Annual Report as 
Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

The preliminary portion comprises an exposition of the operations of 
the Bureau during the fiscal year 5 the remainder consists of two memoirs 
on anthropologic subjects, prepared by assistants, which illustrate the 
methods and results of the work of the Bureau. 

Allow me to express my appreciation of your constant aid and your 
wise counsel relating to the work under my charge. 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 


Honorable S. P. L angle y, 

/Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 





Introduction XXV 

Field research and exploration xxvn 

Office research xxx 

Work in esthetology xxx 

Work in technology xxxiv 

Work in sociology xxxix 

Work in philology xli 

Work in sophiology XLIV 

Descriptive ethnology • xlv 

Bibliography xlvi 

Collecting xlvi 

Publication x lviii 

Miscellaneous xlix 

Financial statement l 

Characterization of accompanying papers li 

Subjects treated li 

The Eskimo about Bering strait lii 

ludian land cessions liv 

List of publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology lix 

Annual reports lix 

Bulletins lxiv 

Contributions to North American Ethnology lxvi 

Introductions -. LXVII 

Miscellaneous publications lxviii 

Index to authors and titles lxix 



Introductory 19 

Sketch of the western Eskimo 23 

Geographic features of their range 23 

Distribution of tribes and dialects 24 

Physical characteristics 26 

Clothing 30 

Garments in general 30 

Waterproof garments 36 

Ear Haps 37 

Gloves and mittens 38 

Foot wear 40 

Boots lo 

Socks and boot pads 13 

Clothing bags IJ{ 



Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued Page 

Personal adornment 4 1 

Labrets 44 

Ta i tooing 50 

Bends and earrings 52 

I lair ornaments and combs 57 

Bracelets 58 

Belts and belt buttons 59 

Utensils and implements 63 

Lamps 63 

Dippers, ladles, and spoons 65 

Wooden dishes, trays, and buckets 70 

Pestles 73 

Blubber hooks and carriers . _ . 73 

Bags for water and oil 73 

Rakes 74 

Root picks 75 

Bone breakers 75 

Fire-making implements 75 

Snow beaters 77 

Snow shovels and ice picks 78 

Mallets ; . 79 

Implements used in arts and manufactures 80 

Ivory and bone working tools 80 

Drills, drill bows, and caps 81 

Knives 85 

Chisels 86 

Polishing and finishing tools 87 

Wedges and mauls 1 88 

Arrowshaft straighteners 88 

Beaver-tooth tools 89 

Birch-bark tools 90 

Stone implements 91 

Tool bags and handles 93 

Toolboxes 93 

Women's workboxes 98 

Handles for workboxes and water buckets 100 

Xeedlecases 103 

Women's " housewives" 104 

Needles and bodkins 106 

Boot- sole creasers 108 

Women's knives 108 

Thimbles and thimble holders 109 

Implements for making thread and cord 110 

Skin-dressing tools 112 

Skin dressing 116 

Hunting and hunting implements 118 

Animal traps and snares 118 

Bird snares and nets 131 

Seal spears 135 

Walrus and whale spears 137 

Floats 140 

Lances 145 

Spear and lance heads 147 

Throwing sticks L52 

Hows 155 


Sketch of the western Eskimo— Continued p a ge 
Hunting and hunting implements — Continued 

Arrows 157 

Arrows for large game 157 

Bird arrows 159 

Fish arrows 160 

Arrowpoints 161 

Quivers 161 

Wrist-guards 161 

Boxes for arrow- and spear-points 162 

Firearms 1 63 

Hunting hags and helmets 166 

Snow goggles 169 

Hunting and skinning knives 171 

Drag handles 172 

Fishing and fishing implements 173 

Methods of fishing 173 

Fish traps 183 

Nets 185 

Net-making implements 190 

Gauges 190 

Shuttles and needles .- 191 

Marlinspikes 193 

Reels 193 

Fish spears 194 

Arts and manufactures 196 

Bone and ivory carving 196 

Drawing 197 

Written records 198 

Paints and colors 198 

Pottery 201 

Mats, baskets, and bags 202 

Travel and transportation 205 

Sleds 205 

Doij; harness and accouterments 209 

Breast yokes 211 

Snowshows 212 

Ice staffs 211 

Ice creepers 215 

Boats 216 

Boat hooks '. : 222 

Paddles 223 

Spear and paddle guards 226 

Trade and trading voyages 228 

I "nits of value and measurement — Numeration 2152 

Units of value 232 

Units of measurement 232 

( 'li Tonometry 234 

Numeration 235 

Villages and houses 211 

Ruins '. 263 

Food 267 

Tobacco and smoking 271 

Methods of using tobacco 271 

Tobacco implements 273 

Snuff-boxes 273 


Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued p a ge 
Tobacco and smoking — Continued 
Tobacco implements — Continued 

Snnff-tubes 275 

Boxes for fungus ashes 275 

Quid boxes 278 

Pipes 280 

Tobacco bags . ■ 284 

House-life and social customs 285 

The kasliim 285 

Sweat baths 287 

i ) welling houses 288 

Childbirth 289 

Puberty 291 

Marriage 291 

Moral characteristics 292 

Treatment of disease 309 

Mortuary customs 310 

Totems and family marks 322 

Wars 327 

Games and toys 330 

Music and dances , 347 

Feasts and festivals 357 

The function of the celebrations 357 

Calendar of festivals 357 

The " Inviting-in " feast 358 

The " Asking" festival 359 

The trading festival 361 

Feasts to the dead 363 

Mortuary feasts in general 363 

Great feast to the dead 365 

Masks and maskettes 393 

Other ceremonial objects 415 

Religion and mythology 421 

Effect of Christian contact 421 

Witchcraft 422 

Shades of the dead 422 

Genesis myth — the Raven Father 425 

Supernatural powers 427 

Mythic animals 441 

Conception of natural phenomena 449 

Traditional showers of ashes 449 

Animal symbolism 450 

Folk tales 450 

Scope of Alaskan folklore 450 

Flood legends from St Michael •.. 152 

Tales of the Raven 452 

The creation 452 

Raven takes a wife 462 

The Raven, the Whale, and the Mink 464 

The Red Bear (from St Michael and Norton sound) 467 

The Giant 471 

The < )iie-who- finds-nothing 474 

the Lone Woman 479 

The circling of cranes 480 

The dwarf people 480 

The Sun and the Moon (from St Michael) 481 


Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued Pago 
Folk tales — Continued 

The Sun and the Moon (from the Lower Yukon) 482 

Origin of land and people 482 

The bringing of the light by Raven 483 

The Red Bear (from Andreivsky) 485 

The last of the Thunderbirds 486 

The Land of the Dead 488 

The strange boy 490 

Origin of the Yu-gi-yhik' or I-ti-ka-tah' festival 494 

Origin of winds 497 

The strong man 499 

The Owl-girl 499 

Tale of Ak'-chik-chiV-guk 499 

The discontented Grass-plant 505 

The fire ball 510 

The Land of Darkness 511 

The Raven and the Marmot 514 

The shaman in the moon 515 

The Man-worm 516 

Migration legend 516 

Origin of the people of Diomede islands and of East cape, Siberia 517 


Introduction, by Cyrus Thomas 527 

Right to the soil dependent on discovery 527 

Foreign policy toward the Indians 538 

The Spanish policy 539 

The French policy 545 

The English policy 549 

Colonial policy toward the Indians 562 

The policy in general 562 

Virginia 563 

Maryland 569 

New York 575 

New Jersey 587 

Pennsylvania 591 

Massachusetts 599 

Connecticut 611 

Rhode' Island 619 

North Carolina 624 

South Carolina 630 

Georgia 634 

New Hampshire and Delaware 639 

Policy of the United States 640 

Acknowledgments 644 

Schedule of treaties and acts of Congress authorizing allotments of land 

in severalty 645 

Schedule of land cessions 648 

Index (151 



Plate I. Group of Kifiugumut from Port Clarence 19 

II. Map 23 

III. Maleniut family from Shaktolik 25 

IV. Kifuiguumt male, Su-ku-uk, age 25 27 

V. Kifiugumut male, Koniik-serier, age 23 29 

VI. Kifiugumut male, Kyo-kuasee, age 16 31 

VII. Kifiugumut male, Iser-kyner, age 20 33 

VIII. Kifiugumut female, Kok-suk, age 23 35 

IX. Kifiugumut female, Unger-kee-kluk, age 22 • 37 

X. Kifiugumut female, age 22 39 

XI. Siberian Eskimo: a, Woman of Mechigme bay. b. Woman of East 

capo 40 

XII. Eskimo men — Mechigme bay, Siberia 43 

XIII. Cape Prince of Wales and Icy Capo men 45 

XIV. Typically dressed, women and children from East cape, Siberia 47 

XV. Typical dress of Kaviagmut and Kuskokwogmut men and women.. 49 

XVI. Man's birdskin frock. (64273) 50 

XVII. Eront and back of man's deerskin frock. (49107) 53 

XVIII. Eront and back of woman's frock. (7510) 55 

XIX. Eront of man's fishskin frock. (38817) , . . 56 

XX. Men's gloves: 1 (64271), 2 (1728), 3 (48135), 4 (64287), 5 (44350), 6 

(38454), 7 (48101) 58 

XXI. Roots, waterproof mittens, and straw socks: 1 (49082), 2 (38814), 
3 (48127), 4 (43345), 5 (49083), 6 (48381), 7 (48132), 8 (38871), 9 

(38779), 10 (129822), 11 (43315), 12 (49164) 60 

XXII. Labrets: 1(176070), 2 (31277), 3 (176069), 4 (36869), 5 (36871), 6 (176074), 
7 (37038), 8 (16210), 9 (43757), 10 (16205), 11 (16204), 12 (16203), 13 

(76681), 14 (176067), 15 (76678), 16 (48749), 17 (33506), 18 (37663), 19 
19 (44903), 20 (44902), 21 (48898), 22 (45200), 23 (176068), 24 (63839), 

25 (44130) 62 

XXIII. Kotzebue Sound Malemut men and women with labrets 64 

XXIV. Earrings: 1 (4573), 2 (48306), 3 (38170), 4 (37271), 5 (4574), 6 (37270), 
7 (4572), 8 (38051), 9 (24701), 10 (38168), 11.(4569), 12 f 43667), 13 
(3683!)), 14 (37517), 15 (37261), 16 (4570), 17 (4568), 18 (36862), 19 

i 14912) 66 

XXV. Earrings and other ornaments: 1 (37002), 2 (37745), 3 (37006), 4 (37007), 
5 (43743), 6 (37003), 7 (36003), 8 (38417), 9 (37258), 10 (37254), 11 

(38410), 12 (37356), 13 (43730) 68 

XXVI. Women and children of Cape Smith 70 

'The figures in parentheses following the titles <>f the Illustrations refer to the numbers of the 
objects in the catalog of the United States National Museum. 


Plate XXVII. Belt fasteners: 1 (44428), 2 (37206), 3 (37043), 4 (48629), 5 
(37212), 6 (44641;, 7 (36920), 8 (43724), 9 (37034), 10 (43880), 
11 (15183), 12 (36911), 13 (63835), 14 (44529), 15 (13723), 16 
(37468), 17 (43719), 18 (37484), 19 (38565), 20 (37833), 21 
(37012), 22 (48194), 23 (37990), 24 (43615), 25 (37209), 26 

(37332), 27 (37989). 28 (38553), 29 (37706), 30 (37333) 72 

XXVIII. Lamps and pots: 1 (63545), 2 (38078), 3 (64222), 4 (63544), 5 
(63566), 6 (30761), 7 (63570), 8 (49196), 9 (63543), 10 (127018), 

11 (49110), 12 (44338), 13 (63548) 74 

XXIX. Ladles and dippers: 1 (38629), 2 (45054), 3 (45100), 4 (38631), 5 
(38635), 6 (33062), 7 (45007), 8 (38604), 9 (45513), 10 (63575), 

11 (63576), 12 (48129) 76 

XXX. Spoons and ladles: 1 (33280), 2 (63227), 3 (37340), 4 (37475), 5 
(37116), 6 (35961), 7 (63832), 8 (37118), 9 (36355), 10 (35959), 
11 (36358), 12 (38062), 13 (36359), 14 (36357), 15 (63278), 16 
(38508), 17 (38527), 18 (45051), 19 (38503), 20 (43491), 21 

(38637), 22 (35960), 23 (37120), 24 (38632), 25 (38638) 78 

XXXI. Trays and pestles: 1 (63719), 2 (127007), 3 (48844), 4 (38678), 5 

(37868), 6 (38683), 7 (38844), 8 (38677), 9 (127019) 80 

XXXII. Trays and buckets: 1 (63243), 2 (38654), 3 (38685), 4 (33066), 5 

(37143), 6 (37355), 7 (63245), 8 C38642) 82 

XXXIII. Implements and utensils: a, Water bag, mouthpieces, blubber 

book, and carrier: 1 (44605), 2 (35982), 3 (37432), 4 (36488), 
5 (33213), 6 (43954), 7 (30774), 8 (16135), 9 (37375), 10 (38708), 
11 (30773), 12 (33203). &, Root picks : 1 (16132), 2 (44414), 3 
(33081) 84 

XXXIV. Fire-making implements: 1,2,3 (33166), 4, 5 (36325 j, 6 (49067), 

7,8 (37961). 9 (38601) 86 

XXXV. Snow shovel, pick, rake, and maul: 1(63600), 2 (48994), 3 

(63650), 4 (63601) 88 

XXX VI. a, Ivory working tools : 1 (63274), 2 (65483), 3 (37980), 4 (63319), 5 
(63316), 6 (43821), 7 (33604), 8 (48087), 9 (46145), 10 (48179). 
b, Drill bows: 1 (44206), 2 (44209), 3 (44467), 4 (33189), 5 
(33186), 6 (33191), 7 (45017), 8 (63804), 9 (44208), 10 (48021), 

11(63622) 90 

XXXVII. Drills, drill caps, and cords: 1 (45563), 2 (126986), 3 (33171), 4 
(63323), 5 (33170), 6 (38798), 7 (89625), 8 (89627), 9 (44203), 10 
(33172), 11 (38084), 12 (63720), 13 (48585) 14 (48565), 15 
(49177), 16 (45520), 17 (63663), 18 (33147), 19 (33174), 20 
(37962), 21 (33653), 22 (33149), 23 (36321), 24 (48927), 25 
(16176), 26 (45383), 27 (36322), 28 (44561), 29 (126995), 30 

(63506) 92 

XXXVIII. Wood-working tools: 1 (48705), 2 (38292), 3 (46147), 4 (48706), 5 
(36427), 6 (38494), 7 (44981), 8 (48701), 9 (36508), 10 (48552), 11 
(38201), 12 (36420), 13 (45150), 14 (48542), 15 (43883), 16 
(45163), 17 (33026), 18 (36554), 19 (32882), 20 (48847), 21 
(36366), 22 (64454), 23 (38294), 24 (89634), 25 (64155), 26 
(32878), 27 (63320), 28 (45488), 29 (63318), 30 (36507), 31 
(48291) 94 

XXXIX. Wedges and adzes: 1 (38836), 2 (16067), 3 (44601), 4 (48873), 5 

I 63619), 6 (48872), 7 (127023), 8 (48182), 9 (38258), 10 (33082), 

II (37865), 12 (45069), 13 (33260), 14 (33083) 96 

XL. Arrowshaft straighteners and point setters: 1 (33039), 2(63723), 

3 (44383), 4 (44415), 5 (33048), 6 (38192), 7 (64159), 8 (48680), 

9 (48723), 10 (G3790), 11 (43921), 12 (44745) 99 

XLI. Tool bag nnd bandies: 1 (64151),2 (44169), 3 U398) I (18531), 

1 13305), 6 (48529), 7 (18089) 101 


Plate XLII. Tool and trinket boxes : 1 (49103), 2 (63240), 3 (36240), 4 (37561), 5 
(43887), 6 (36239), 7 (36243), 8 (36241), 9 (49015), 10 (36244), 

11 (3624G) 102 

XLIII. Bucket and box bandies: 1 (44691), 2 (48685), 3 (63824), 4 (48270), 
5 (38752), 6 (36375), 7 (48461), 8 (63809), 9 (24431), 10 (38776), 

11 (44716), 12 (63801), 13 (33279), 14 (48137), 15 (48164), 16 
(33273), 17 (43820), 18 (38751), 19 (33220), 20 (63884), 21 
(129218), 22 (44190), 23 (48163), 24 (43809), 25 (63879), 26 

( 44276) 104 

XLIV. Thimble guards, needle-cases, and boot-sole creasers : 1 (48496), 2 
(63421), 3 (36459), 4 (36456), 5 (36463), 6 (36464), 7 (48299), 8 
(36455), 9 (36453), 10 (36454), 11 (44011), 12 (48664), 13 (36452), 
14 (44340), 15 (43861), 16 (64165), 17 (63827), 18 (64167), 19 
(48570), 20 (44017), 21 (37237), 22 (36885), 23 (36878), 24 (45459), 
25 (24481), 26 (33462), 27 (36880), 28 (48560), 29 (45168), 30 
(64164), 31 (38448), 32 (33699), 33 (43505), 34 (48980), 35 (36742), 
36 (36758), 37 (37807), 38 (33214), 39 (36721), 40 (44137), 41 
(48546), 42 (63806), 43 (16189), 44 (48289), 45 (38364), 46 (38449), 

47 (47738), 48 (33677), 49 (45140), 50 (43389), 51 (48543) 106 

XLV. "Housewives" and fastenings: 1 (48963), 2 (37778), 3 (43662), 4 
(36690), 5 (37791), 6 (36695), 7 (37786), 8 (37189), 9 (37783), 10 
(45142), 11 (43663), 12 (49001), 13 (37319), 14 (64288), 15 (38691), 
16 (44021), 17 (38198), 18 (48795), 19 (37767), 20 (38221), 21 
(38402), 22 (36419), 23 (37310), 24 (37457), 25 (38376), 26 (38241), 
27 (37739), 28 (35972), 29 (43694), 30 (38387), 31 (16343), 32 

(38690) 108 

XLVL Bodkins: 1 (33251), 2 (37304), 3 (38385), 4 (37752), 5 (37621), 6 
(36286), 7 (36631), 8 (36634), 9 (43535), 10 (36632), 11 (37776), 12 

(43388), 13 (36626), 14 (48798), 15 (48948), 16 (38495) 110 

XL VII. PTsb and skinning knives: 1 (36315), 2 (63771), 3 (63773), 4 (37957), 

5 (43892), 6 (36506), 7 (48829), 8 (48828), 9 (38256), 10 (43482) . . 112 
XLVIII. Thread- and cord-making implements: a, Grass combs : 1(44779), 

2 (44777), 3 (44419), 4 (48120), 5 (33145), 6 (63657), 7 (48842), 
8 (38079), 9 (48877), 10 (48918). b, Thread shuttles and 
needles: 1 (24463), 2 (24464), 3 (36449), 4 (48261), 5 (48287), 6 

(43740), 7 (43742), 8 (36448) 114 

XLIX. Sldn scrapers: 1 (30825), 2 (63851), 3 (64181), 4 (63850), 5 (48631), 

6 (63868), 7 (48624), 8 (44084), 9 (63849), 10 (44983), 11 (44982), 

12 (48882), 13 (43408), 14 (64176), 15 (38252), 16 (63405), 17 
(38828), 18 (33086), 19 (38485), 20 (43927) 116 

L. Skin-cleaning tools: 1 (43433), 2 (32890), 3 (38755), 4 (43767), 
5 (48256), 6 (36520), 7 (44771), 8 (63800), 9 (63353), 10 (63351), 
11 (63833), 12 (63666), 13 (37967), 14 (45730), 15 (32885), 16 

(45105), 17 (48982), 18(48549) 118 

LI. Nets, snares, and traps: 1 (38622), 2 (3371(5), 3 M3291), 4 (4 1255), 
5 ( L26033), 6 (46072), 7 (37651 ), K (63815), 9 (33820), 10 (33812), 
11 (126993), 12 (63590), 13 (63590), 14 (63258), 15 (126993), 

16 (38444) 122 

LII. Braining clubs and seal-captnring implements: 1 (63745), 2 

(63676), :; (38476), I (33143), 5 (37598), 6 (63270), 7 (63788), 8 

63787), 9(48503), 1" 18167), 11(33143), 12 i 18561 >, L3 ( 15113), 

11 (38500), 15(63777), L6 (11111), 17 (45003), is (45005), 1!) 

15017., 20 (63876), 21 (63781), 22 (44142), 23 (6421S), 21 

(127013 1, 25 ( 16355), 26 1 63780) 126 

LI 1 1. St Michael hu Liter casting a seal spear 135 



PLATE LIV. Small seal spears and lilies: 1(175669), 2 (33980), 3 (36110), 4(33872), 

5 (36103), 6 (37350), 7 (43748). 8 (36081), 9 (175673), 10(160337) .. 137 
LV. Spears and lances: a, Large spears: 1 (33911), 2 (29780), 3 (48150), 

1 (33973), 5 (36067), 6 (33888), 7 (15415), 8 (43429). b, Lances : 
r (175672), 2 (48379), 3 (45419), 4 (15431), 5 (37388), 6 (37389).. 139 
LVI. Hunting and fishing apparatus: a, Float, float-plugs, and mouth- 
pieces: 1 (37820), 2 (37239), 3 (44627), 4 (36499), 5 (37822), 6 
(36498), 7 (43981), 8 (44306), 9 (13509), 10 (44629), 11 (45169), 

12 (41305), 13 (43510), 14 (44770), 15 (37329), 16 (36209), 17 
(33298), 18 (63340), 19 (44285), 20 (33452), 21 (33451), 22 (36195), 

23 (63663), 24 (44284), 25 (37818), 26 (33627), 27 (36209), 28 
(44432), 29 (43515), 30 (45126), 31 (63342). b, Cord attachers: 
1 (16192), 2 (37054), 3 (37060), 4 (37068), 5 (37824), 6 (37052), 7 
(38149), 8 (48317), 9 (37055), 10 (37036), 11 (129271), 12 (44709), 

13 (37064), 14 (43624), 15 (33650), 16 (49009), 17 (43382), 18 
(33630), 19 (38006), 20 (37218), 21 (37228), 22 (33445), 23 (37057) . 142 

LVII. Objects used in hunting: a, Lance points, etc. : 1 (48389), 2 (43758), 
3 (37657), 4 (48181), 5 (43870), 6 (38517), 7 (36294), 8 (44051), 9 
(37618), 10 (36332), 11 (44217), 12 (37662), 13 (63863), 14 (44321), 

15 (126915), 16 (37390), 17 (38459), 18 (38607), 19 (46076), 20 
(16173), 21 (33159), 22 (44657), 23 (36333), 24 (37389), 25 (37388), 

26 (37581 ), 27 (37390) . b, Spear lieads, points, finger-rests, et c. : 
1 (44405), 2 (63497), 3 (126912), 4 (16125), 5 (37377), 6 (44699), 7 
(44703), 8 (44746), 9 (38529), 10 (48820), 11 (33632), 12 (48471), 
13 (63334), 14 (36343), 15 (37951), 16 (44421), 17 (43461), 18 
(43461), 19 (48276), 20 (44077), 21 (45171), 22 (43865), 23 (45173), 

24 (63842), 25 (63844),26 (63843), 27 (33465), 28 (44812), 29 (45170), 

30 (37671), 31 (48293), 32 (33641), 33 (37417), 34 (36097) 148 

LVIII. St Michael man casting a bird spear 151 

LIX. Bird spears: 1 (36139), 2 (33879), 3 (48387), 4 (48354), 5 (36129), 

6 (45426), 7(33845), 8 (48350), 9 (29852), 10(33848), 11 (36076).. 153 
LX. Bows: 1 (36038), 2 (36033), 3 (33886), 4 (160341), 5 (43679), 6 (36034), 

7 (48374), 8 (33884), 9 (73172), 10 (45736), 11 (36029) 155 

LXI. Hunting and war implements: «, Arrows for large game and for 

war: 1 (126990), 2 (176093a), 3 (63584), 4 (176093d), 5(45433), 
6 (176093 fc), 7 (129327), 8 (16415), 9 (36179), 10 (16415), 11 
(63584), 12 (63584 a). b, Arrowpoints, strengtheners for Lows 
and quivers, and wrist-guards : 1 (48259), 2 (48974), 3 (63374), 4 
. (33634), 5 (49065), 6 (48717), 7 (48200), 8 (38530), 9 (63860), 10 
(43950), 11 (44078), 12 (63331), 13 (63276), 14 (63328), 15 (63326), 

16 (46097), 17 (48446), 18 (63375), 19 (44079), 20 (63755), 21 
(43872), 22 (63864), 23 (63753), 24 (36300), 25 (44048), 26 (38450), 

27 (24596). c, Bird arrows and quiver: 1 (36140), 2 (176094 a), 

3 (45432), 4 (33833), 5 (33821), 6 (33824), 7 (33827), 8 (176095) . . 158 
LXIL Boxes for arrowpoints and paints: 1 (33015), 2 (44458), 3 (33019), 

4 (44450), 5 (48253), 6 (37557), 7 (38475), 8 (24607), 9 (33024), 10 
(45514), 11 (24347), 12 (43489), 13 (38336), 14 (37342), 15 
(48252), 16 (37342), 17 (43485) 162 

LXIII. objects used with guns and in hunting: 1 (49187), 2 (33209), 3 
(44326), 4 (14612), 5 (33210), 6 (44117), 7 (43977), 8 (36323), 9 
(44773), 10 (43512), 11 (36407), 12 (43513), 13 (63349), 14 (64197), 
15 (37433), 16 (36486), 17 (13923), 18 (43854), 19 (48134), 20 
( 1 1772), 21 (44966), 22(38100), 23(43490), 24(48450), 25(37966), 
26 (36490), 27 (37363), 28 (33079), 29 (44963), 30 (44388), 31 
(36026), 32 (11327), 33 (43480) 164 


Plate LXIV. Hunting helmets, visors, and snow goggles: 1 (44328), 2 (38659), 

3 (44330), 4 (38658), 5 (72906), 6 (32945), 7 (63626), 8 (44256;, 
• 9 (32942), 10 (46137), 11 (63825), 12 (63269), 13 (48996), 14 

(36351), 15 (33136), 16 (37351), 17 (45072), 18 (160337), 19 

(44349), 20 (38718), 21 (38711), 22 (38713) 166 

LXV. Nephrite knife sharpener, dagger, and sheath: 1 (48586), 2, 3 

(176072) 170 

LXYI. Cord or drag handles: 1 (37693), 2 (44537), 3 (48190), 4 (33620), 5 
(63689), 6 (38556), 7 (48567), 8 (44885), 9 (45231), 10 (48666), 
11 (45176), 12 (44890), 13 (43970), 14 (33657), 15 (45026), 16 

(37384), 17 (46162), 18 (44191), 19 (44151) 173 

LXVII. Ice pick, scoops, and fish spears: 1 (48344), 2 (48343), 3 (33860), 

4 (36070), 5 (49051), 6 (49049), 7 (49141), 8 (49142), 9 (36024), 

10 (33894) 175 

LXVIII. Fishing implements : 1 (16303), 2 (44096), 3 (37349), 4 (37348), 5 

(63513), 6 (38377), 7 (33037), 8 (33036), 9 (33376), 10 (37946), 

11 (45115), 12 (44930), 13 (48298),* 14 (37253), 15 (38413), 16 
(36378), 17 (37253), 18 (44745), 19 (43852), 20 (63284), 21 
(43401), 22 (63265), 23 (33915), 24 (45402), 25 (33816), 26 
(45441), 27 (33900), 28 (33899), 29 (33038), 30 (44075), 31 (33915), 

32 (63513) 176 

LXIX. Fishhooks and sinkers: 1 (46318), 2 (46264), 3 (37413), 4 (44370), 

5 (64199), 6 (45255), 7 (44482), 8 (45261), 9 (49172), 10 (44475), 
11 (49172), 12 (44509), 13 (44953), 14 (44508), 15 (64188), 16 
(63630), 17 (44125), 18 (48305), 19 (44954), 20 (44493), 21 
(63631), 22 (44371), 23 (44480), 24 (44371), 25 (126983), 26 
(44939), 27 (44938), 28 (63512), 29 (126984), 30 (38816), 31 
(126989), 32 (63897), 33 (126989a) 178 

LXX. Objects used in fishing: 1 (45422), 2 (48998), 3 (37347), 4 (48699), 
5 (63377), 6 (63737), 7 (63744), 8 (38808), 9 (38867), 10 (127943), 
11 (38498), 12 (49148), 13 (32988), 14 (176092), 15 (38825), 16 

(33138) 184 

LXXI. Setting fish trap through the ice on the Vukon, near Ikogmut.. 187 

LXXII. Net-making implements : 1 (43967), 2 (49183), 3 (63304), 4 (63305), 
5 (43811), 6 (36373), 7 (48539), 8 (44487), 9 (37428), 10 (49004), 
. 11 (48283), 12 (44202), 13 (44996), 14 (63652), 15 (48832), 
16 (33176), 17 (33257), 18 (36413), 19 (44385), 20 (44607), 
21 (48722), 22 (48460), 23 (44569', 24 (33267), 25 (38276), 
26 (45110) 190 

LXXIII. Net-making implements : 1 (36681), 2 (33050), 3 (37459), 4 (36416), 
5 (36398), 6 (44413;, 7 (48726), 8 (38662), 9 (37927), 10 (37928), 
11 (126988), 12 (63307), 13 (19408), 14 (44787), 15 (49013), 
16 (38211), 17 (48938), 18 (44448), 19 (48286), 20 (63654), 
21 (49000), 22 (33095), 23 (44994), 24 (44573), 25 (44463), 
26 (45011), 27 (48583), 28 (3850 L) 192 

LXXIY. Objects of grass and spruce root: 1 (37603), 2 (37926), 3 (44234), 
1 (36190), 5 (38204), 6 (32977), 7 (35962), 8 (32968), 9 (166949), 
10 (127890), 11 (176077), 12 (176078), 13 (38467), 14 (32964), 

1 5 ( 32945 ) 202 

LXXV. Malemut family with dog sled 205 

LXX VI. Model of sled frame with other objects used in transportation: 
1 (63587),2 (63656), 3 (43849), 4 (63371), 5 (127004), 6 I 1 1375), 
7 (63361), 8 (49076), 9 (44736), 10 (63829), 11 (63698), L2 

(43857), L3 (48725), 11 I 10251 >,15( 19146), 16 ( 18104 1 208 

LXXVII. Model of umiak with matting sail. (38882) 217 


l'i. \ 1 1 LXXVIII. Model of umiak frame and appurtenances of umiak and kaiak 

rigging : 1 (45284), 2 ( 18587), 3 (37016), 4 (37672), 5 (49185), 

6 (44443), 7 (37300), 8 (37461), 9 (37301), 10 (37001), 11 
(37247), 12 (43538), 13 (35998), 14 (43705), 15 (44711), 16 
(38284), 17 (24698), 18 (33407), 19 (44980), 20 (44755), 21 
(44531), 22 (36421), 23 (37426), 24 (36424), 25 (37939), 26 
(63665), 27 (33219), 28 (45380), 29 (38277), 30 (36392), 31 
(33386), 32 (44759), 33 (63878), 34 (127014), 35 (46304), 36 
(44758), 37 (48169), 38 (38883) 218 

LXXIX. Kaiaks : 1 Nmiivak island (76283), 2 Nunivak island (160345), 
3 St Michael (166932), 4 King island (160326), 5 Cape 

Espenberg (129575), 6 Cape Krusenstern (129574) 220 

LXXX. Paddles and boat books: 1 (33893), 2 (36023), 3 (43347), 4 
(36022), 5 (45408), 6 (73169), 7 (36071), 8 (36057), 9 (45406), 

10 (48148) 223 

LXXXI. Storehouses at Ikogmut 245 

LXXXII. Winter view of Razbinsky 247 

LXXXIII. Eskimo dwellings: a, House at Plover bay. b, Noatak sum- 
mer lodge 259 

LXXXI V. Women of Plover bay, Siberia 260 

LXXXV . Summer camp at Cape Lisburne 263 

LXXXVI. Tobacco and snuff boxes and snuif-making implements: 1 
(43797), 2 (38334), 3 (48247), 4 (6580), 5 (36268), 6 (33013), 

7 (36270), 8 (36276), 9 (35956), 10 (36620), 11 (36267), 12 
(48839), 13 (36282), 14 (36281), 15 (36284), 16 (16094), 17 
(37559), 18 (36280), 19 (43824), 20 (37857), 21 (37539), 22 
(36260), 23 (43952), 24 (36274), 25 (44957), 26 (37540), 27 
(1636), 28 (33097), 29 (7074), 30 (48737) 270 

LXXXVIL Fungus ash boxes and tobacco bags: 1 (24744), 2 (37907), 3 
(48255), 4 (64186), 5 (44059), 6 (38665), 7 (64187), 8 (63721), 9 
(44960), 10 (38472), 11 (36249), 12 (48559), 13 (38664), 14 

(37858) 272 

LXXXVIII. Pipes and pipe mold: 1 (44393), 2 (38785), 3 (63511), 4 (48172), 

5 (38790), 6 (63785), 7 (38788), 8 (45327), 9 (43963), 10 
(32869), 11 (48171), 12 (43999), 13 (48076), 14 (49192) 280 

LXXXIX. Ivory pipestems : 1 (7506), 2 (2292), 3 (154073), 4 (2282) 283 

XC. Snuff tubes : 1 (44471), 2 (36807), 3 (38435), 4 (37498), 5 (36821), 

6 (38039), 7 (38042), 8 (36818), 9 (36817), 10 (36789), 11 
(37316), 12' (35978), 13 (49026), 14 (36825), 15 (37811) 284 

XCI. Graveyard at Razbinsky 317 

X (II. Eskimo plate armor 330 

XCIII. Dolls: 1 (44871), 2 (24869), 3 (64209), 4 (37707), 5 (36216), 6 

(38577), 7 (63518), 8 (63378) 342 

XCIV. Snow knives: 1 (36377), 2 (38359), 3 (37283), 4 (36578), 5 
(43501), 6 (127407), 7 (43890), 8 (127398), 9 (36514), 10 

(36591), 11 (36568), 12 (37425), 13 (36555) 344 

XCV. Masks: 1 (18989), 2 (48985), 3 (33131), 4 (43779) 396 

XCVI. Masks: 1 (33108), 2 (33104) 398 

XCVII. Mask. (33118) 401 

XCVI 1 1. Masks: 1 (49020), 2 (64242), 3 (38733) 404 

XCIX. Masks: 1 (61248), 2 (38862), 3 (38645), 4 (38811) 406 

C. Masks: 1 (61260), 2 (33111), 3 (33105), 4 (33107) 408 

CI. .Masks: 1 (33134), 2 (37654) 410 

CI I. Masks: 1 (33126), 2 (48913), 3 (37864), 4 (64238) 412 


Plate CIII. Finger masks and maskoids : 1 (1621), 2 (64258), 3 (37895), 4 (64252), 

5 (64243), 6 (64266).... 414 

CIV. Finger masks : 1 (24746), 2 (38648), 3, 4 (36231) 416 

C V. Finger masks : 1 (38451), 2 (33125), 3 (33121) 418 

CVI. Belts and armlet : 1 (37921), 2 (64221), 3 (176071) 420 

CVII. Objects etched with mythologic figures: a, Spear rest with 
figures of thunderbirds catching whales. (48169.) &, Ivory 
pipesteni with etched figures of the man-worm and the 

thunderbird. (154075) 446 


CVIII. Alabama 1 

CIX. Alabama, northern portion 2 

CX. Arizona 1 3 

CXI. Arizona 2 4 

CXII. Arkansas 1 5 

CXIII. Arkansas 2 6 

CXIV. California 1 7 

CX V. California 2 (with inset special map) 8 

CXVI. Colorado 1 9 

CXVII. Colorado 2 10 

CXVIII. North Dakota and South Dakota 1 11 

CXIX. North Dakota and South Dakota 2 ;. . 12 

CXX. North Dakota and South Dakota 3 13 

CXXI. Florida 14 

CXXII. Georgia 15 

CXXI1I. Idaho 16 

CXXIV. Illinois 1 17 

CXXV. Illinois2 '. 18 

CXXVI. Indiana 19 

CXX VII. Indiana, detail 20 

CXXVIII. Indian Territory and Oklahoma 1 21 

CXXIX. Indian Territory and Oklahoma 2 22 

CXXX. Indian Territory and Oklahoma 3 23 

CXXXI. Iowal 24 

CXXXII. Iowa 2 25 

CXXXIII. Kansas 1 26 

CXXXIV. Kansas 2 27 

CXXXV. Louisiana 28 

CXXXVL Michigan 1 29 

(XXXVII. Michigan2 30 

CXXXVIII. Michigan, Saginaw bay to Lake Erie 31 

CXXXIX. Michigan, region about Mackinaw and Detroit 32 

CXL. Minnesota 1 33 

CXLI. Minnesota 2 34 

CXLII. Minnesota, northern portion 35 

CXLIII. Mississippi 36 

CXLIV. Missouri 1 37 

CXLV. Missouri 2 38 

CXLVI. Montana 1 39 

CXLVII. Montana 2 40 

CXLVIII. Nebraska 41 

CXLIX. Nebraska, eastern portion 42 

CL. Nevada 43 

CLI. New Mexico 1 44 




Plate CL1I. New Mexico 2 45 

C LIII. New Mexico and Texas, detail 46 

CLIV. New York 47 

CLV. North Carolina, portion of „ .' 48 

CLYI. Ohio 49 

CLVII. Ohio, detail 50 

CLVIII. Oregon 1 51 

CLIX. Oregon 2 52 

CLX. Pennsylvania 53 

CLXI. Tennessee and portions of bordering states 54 

CLXII. Tennessee, detail 55 

C LXIII. Tennessee and Alabama, portions of 56 

CLXIY. Texas, portion of 57 

CLXY. Utahl 58 

CLXVI. Utah 2 59 

CLXYIL Washington 1 60 

CLX VIII. Washington 2 (51 

CLXIX. Washington, along Admiralty inlet 62 

CLXX. Washington, northwestern 63 

CLXXI. Wisconsin 1 64 

CLXXII. Wisconsin 2 65 

CLXXIII. Wyoming 1 '. 66 

CLXXIV. Wyoming 2 67 

Figure 1. Scheme of color on masks and mask-like objects, grave boxes, and 

totem markings 26 

2. Man's hood from Kofiigunugumut. (38657) 32 

3. Fox-skin cap 33 

4. Man's hood of reindeer and marmot skin and mink fur. (37903) ... 33 

5. Man's wolf-head summer hood from Point Hope. (64270) 34 

6. Ear-flaps. (37398) 37 

7. Fish-skin clothing bags : 1 (37631), 2 (37401) 43 

8. Clothing bag of sealskin. (48099) 44 

9. King island man with labrets of lignite 47 

10. Kotzebue sound Malemut men and women 49 

11. Tattooing on women, (a, South of Yukon mouth; b, East cape, 

Siberia ; c, Head of Kotzebue sound) 50 

12. Tattooing on a St Lawrence island girl 50 

13. Tattooing on a woman of St Lawrence island 51 

14. Tattooing on a woman's arm, East cape, Siberia 51 

15. Circular forms of tattooing 52 

16. Hair combs: 1 (36374), 2 (48260), 3 (126985), 4 (45484), 5 (44765), 

6 (63722) 57 

17. Ivory belt fastener. (44523) 61 

18. Lamp from Point Barrow 63 

19. Ivory carving representing a lamp and stand 63 

20. Marrow spoon. (7519) 69 

21. Snow beaters: 1 (48995), 2 (49175), 3 (48161), 4 (44998), 5 (48162).. . 77 

22. Snow shovels : 1 (36973), 2 (49143) 78 

23. Mallets : 1 (48999), 2 (48909), 3 (48885) 79 

24. Wood chisels: 1 (43737), 2 (36397) 87 

25. Knife sharpeners : 1 (43858), 2 (33047), 3 (46109), 4 (63529), 5 (43817) . 90 

26. Flint ilakers: 1 (63786), 2 (64153), 3 (37600), 4 (37615), 5 (48554) 91 

27. Wooden trinket box. (35955) l M 

28. Trinket box. (49075) 98 



Figure 29. Boot-sole creaser. (7521) 108 

30. Sinew twisters. (41688) Ill 

31. Sinew spirmer from St Lawrence island 112 

32. Stretched sealskin 116 

33. Method of folding sealskin 117 

34. Model of a deer snare. (48208) 119 

35. Etching on ivory showing deer snares. (7521) 120 

36. Gamespits. (38488) 121 

37. Fox or wolf trap with sinew sj)ring. (7510) 122 

38. Marmot trap. (33146) 125 

39. Sealskin float. (129381, old number 48330) 141 

40. Cord attacher. (7508) 144 

41. Cord attacher, obverse and reverse. (7509) 145 

42. Spearpoints for birds and fish: 1 (38499), 2 (38783), 3 (44574), 4 

(43361), 5 (126916), 6 (63333), 7 (45519), 8 (45737) 150 

43. Throwing sticks : 1 (49001), 2 (38670), 3 (33897), 4 (36013), 5 (24355), 

6 (45396), 7 (49002), 8 (168581), 9 (166946), 10 (15644), 11 (36018) ... 154 

44. Fish arrows: 1 (160341), 2 (43680), 3 (49044), 4 (48340), 5 (48338), 6 

(63578), 7 (48341), 8 (49037), 9 (33858), 10(36161) 160 

45. Ivory ornaments for hunting helmets: 1 (37419), 2 (38325), 3 (36477), 

4 (49014), 5 (32954), 6 (36428), 7 (36408), 8 (43808) 169 

46. Cord handle of ivory. (7517) 172 

47. Tomcod lishing through sea ice at St Michael 174 

48. Grayling hook. (7515) 180 

49. Seining on Kotzebue sound 186 

50. Mesh of dip-net made of sinew. (48923) 187 

51. Mesh of dip-net made of willow bark. (48925) 187 

52. Mesh, float, and sinker of herring seine. (33871) 188 

53. Herring seine with stretcher at one end, and with float and sinker. 

(43353 ) 189 

54. Sealskin-cord herring seine with stone sinker. (176090) 189 

55. Wooden net float. (63505) 190 

56. Ivory marlinspike. (16143) 193 

57. Marlinspike with bone point. (33100) 193 

58. Wooden paint box. (38338) 200 

59. Wooden paint box. (35954) 200 

60. Clay pot from Hotham inlet 202 

61. Kaviak hunter with hand sled 207 

62. Sled nsed on the Siberian shore of Bering strait. (176084) 208 

63. Snowshoes from Norton bay. (45400) 212 

64. Snowshoe from Cape Darby. (48092) 213 

65. Snowshoe from Icy cape. (63604) 213 

G6. Snowshoe from St Lawrence island. (63236) 214 

67. Ice staff. (45424) 215 

68. Ice staff. (73178) 215 

69. Ice creepers: 1 and la (63881), 2 (46260), 3 (44254), 4 (126982), 5 

(63514) 216 

70. Forms of umiak paddles: a, from Kotzebue sound; &, from Point 

Hope 224 

71. Kaiak paddles from Point Barrow and King island: 1 (89246), 2 

(160326) 225 

72. Ivory spear guard for kaiak. (176086a) 227 

73. Ivory spear guard for kaiak. (176086/;) 227 

74. Plan of house at St Michael 242 



Figure 75. Storehouse at St Michael 243 

76. Kashiui at St Michael 246 

77. Section of kashim at St Michael 247 

78. Section of kashim at Kushunuk 250 

79. Carved lamp support 252 

80. Section of house at Ignituk 253 

81. Section of house at Ignituk „ 253 

X'2. Section of house at Cape Nome 254 

83. Ground plan of house at Cape Nome 254 

84. Walrus skin summer house on King island 256 

85. Eskimo village at East cape, Siberia 257 

86. House frame of whale ribs and jawbone 259 

87. Section of house on St Lawrence island 260 

88. Summer camp at Hotham inlet 260 

89. Frame for summer lodge, Hotham inlet 261 

90. Arrangement of summer camp at Hotham inlet 262 

91. Summer lodge at Cape Thompson 262 

92. Sites of ancient villages at Cape Wankarem, Siberia 265 

93. Fungus used for making ashes to mix with tobacco. (43366) 271 

94. Pipe from Kotzebue sound. (48133) 281 

95. Pipe from Cape Prince of Wales.^ (7516) 284 

96. Respirator (front view). (38850)'. 288 

97. Lancet pointed with nephrite. (38797) 310 

98. Back scratcher. (45107) 310 

99. Position in which the dead are buried at St Michael 311 

100. Method of disposing of the dead at St Michael 313 

101. Position of burial of the dead on the lower Yukon 311 

102. Grave boxes, Yukon delta 315 

103. Burial box at Razbinsky 316 

104. Memorial images at Cape Vancouver 317 

105. Monument board at a Big lake grave 319 

106. Grave box at Cape Nome 320 

107,. Grave on St Lawrence island 321 

108. Arrowpoint showing wolf totem signs. (43689 s ) 322 

109. Spearhead representing a wolf. (38442) 323 

110. Spearhead representing a wolf. (43751) 323 

111. Spearhead representing an otter. (43750) 323 

112. Spearhead representing an ermine. (36080) 323 

113. Gerfalcon totems on bow and seal spear 324 

114 . Simple forms of the raven totem 324 

115. Raven totem tattooing on a Plover bay boy 325 

116. Raven totems on smoke-hole cover 325 

117. Wolf totem signs on a storehouse door 325 

118. Tobacco board with bear and loach signs. (48922) 326 

119. Figures on a grave box 326 

120. Boy with toy sled, St Lawrence island 33 1 

121. Dart. (45475) 331 

122. Top from Cape Prince of Wales. (43371) 341 

123. Toy woodpecker. (33798) 341 

124. Toymouse. (48912) 1 342 

125. Toy representing a murre swimming. (63478) 342 

126. Clay doll. (48735) 342 

127. Wooden doll. (38345) 313 

128. Doll. (38351) 343 

129. Wooden doll. (37878) 344 



Figure 130. Mechanical doll. (63814) 344 

131. Toy bear with dog harness. (63644) 345 

132. Toy dogs and sled. (63387) 345 

133. Toy hear. (63867) 346 

134. Toy kaiak from St Lawrence island. (63449) 346 

135. Ivory image of man and hear. (37750) 346 

136. Drum handle. (63797) 351 

137. Drum handle. (33308) 351 

138. Ivory baton for beating time on a stick. (45282) 352 

139. Wand used in "Asking" festival. (33804) 359 

140. Plan of kashim during mortuary ceremony 366 

141. Maskoid representing a seal-head with rising air bubbles. (33115). 414 

142. Eagle-feather wand used in dances. (49061) 414 

143. Eagle-feather wand used in dances. (45446) 415 

144. Armlet worn during dances. (45336) 416 

145. Loonskin fillet worn in dances. (49079) 417 

146. Reindeer-skin fillet. (36195) 417 

147. Woman with ermine fillet and eagle-feather wands 418 

148. Wristlet from Ikogmut. (36198) 419 

149. Armlet worn in dances. (48695) 420 

150. Fetich from a Malemut kaiak , . . 436 

151. Graphite fetich used in right- whale fishing. (48384) 439 

152. Whale fetich of wood. (64220) 440 

153. Shaman's doll fetich. (37372) 441 

154. Drawing of a composite animal in a wooden tray. (38679) 444 

155. Drawing of the pdl-rai-yuk in a wooden tray. (45494) 444 

156. Drawing of the pdl-rai-yuk on an umiak. (160261) 445 

157. Ivory carving of a composite animal. (44143) 446 

158. Ivory carving representing the man- worm. (43550) 446 

159. Ivory carving of a mythic animal. (7518) 447 

160. Ivory drag handle representing a composite animal. (7511) 447 

161. Ivory carving of a mermaid-like creature. (7520) 447 

162. Ivory float handle with mermaid-like figure. (7514) 448 

163. Carving representing a mermaid-like creature. (36336) 448 

164. Ivory carving showing the face of a walrus inua. (43561) 448 

165. Drawing of a mythic creature in a wooden tray. (38642) 448 






By J. W. Powell, Director 


Researches relating- to the American Indians have been 
carried forward during the fiscal year ending Jnne 30, 1897, 
in accordance with the act of Congress making provision "for 
continuing researches among the American Indians, under 
the direction of the Smithsonian Institution," approved June 

The operations have been conducted in accordance with a 
plan submitted on June 13, 1896. The field work of the regu- 
lar officers of the Bureau has extended into Arizona, Indian 
Territory, Iowa, Maine, New Brunswick, New Mexico, New 
York, Oklahoma, and Ontario, while operations have been car- 
ried on by special agents in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, 
Utah, and Washington state, as well as in Argentina, British 
Columbia, Chile, and Mexico. The office researches have dealt 
with material from most of the states and from various other 
portions of the American continents. 

A classification of ethnic science has grown up in connection 
with the classification of the aboriginal tribes through the opera- 
tions of the Bureau, and this has been perfected from year to 
year. 1 Hiring recent years, and particularly during the fiscal 
year just closed, the researches have been shaped by this classi- 
fication of the subject-matter of the science. The primary lines 



<>i' investigation relate to (1) Arts or esthetology, (2) Industries 
or technology (including archeology), (3) Institutions or soci- 
ology, (4) Languages or philology, and (5) Myths and opinions 
or sophiologv, as well as the requisite classificatory work involv- 
ing researches in somatology and psycholog} 7 . 

The end of research in the Bureau of American Ethnology is 
the discovery of the relations of the aboriginal American tribes 
among each other and among' the peoples of the world. The 
simpler relations are ascertained by direct observation and 
defined by the aid of generalization; and continued observa- 
tion and generalization have led to the establishment of prin- 
ciples which aid in defining the more complex relations. ' The 
salient principles developed through the researches have been 
set forth in previous reports; they serve to define the general 
science of man, to distinguish the' essentially human charac- 
teristics from those of the lower animals, and to outline the 
primary categories of activities which characterize mankind. 

The recognition of the essentially human activities affords a 
means for classifying tribes and peoples. The classification in 
terms of activities represents a decided advance beyond the 
plane of classification in terms of physical characteristics, and 
raises the science of man to the level of the older sciences 
in their modern aspects — e. g., to the plane occupied during 
recent years by physical astronomy or physical geology. At 
the same time the classification leads to the recognition of the 
lines of human development, and serves to define their trend; 
and thereby it prepares the way to clear comprehension and 
accurate definition of the natural stages in human develop- 
ment, i. e., the four principal culture grades. Since each new 
recognition of relation extends the view of the student, the 
definition of the culture grades reacts on knowledge of the 
primary activities, and conduces to still more accurate and 
extended survey of the course of activital growth. 

The lines of development discerned among the American 
aborigines were set forth in terms of the activities in the last 
report; it was there shown that in each of the five categories 
the activities developed along convergent lines. For the pres- 


ent it suffices to observe that the conclusions have been veri- 
fied and extended through the researches of the last year. 

As heretofore, the special researches are commonly initiated 
in the field and completed in the office, giving- rise to (I) field 
research (including exploration), and (II) office research, which 
together constitute the original scientific work of the Bureau; 
while the demands of the public service and the needs of the 
collaborators give rise to (III) work in descriptive ethnology, 
(IV) bibliographic work, (V) work in collecting, (VI) publica- 
tion, and (VII) concomitant administrative and miscellaneous 


At the beginning of the fiscal year the Director was engaged 
in a reconnoissance of shell mounds and other antiquities on 
the coast of Maine; here he was joined by Mr Frank Hamil- 
ton Gushing, and a number of shell mounds were surveyed 
and excavated with success. Later in the season the Passama- 
q noddy Indians still living in the vicinity were studied with 
some care, and their industries, especially in house building, 
were investigated; subsequently some of the older men of the 
tribe were employed to collect material for and to erect an 
aboriginal wigwam, which was afterward transferred to the 
Zoological Park at Washington. 

During* July and August Dr J. Walter Fewkes was occu- 
pied in making surveys and excavations of ruins, chiefly in 
Arizona, with the primary object of collecting prehistoric mate- 
rial for the enrichment of the National Museum, but with the 
secondary purpose of investigating those activities of the abo- 
rigines recorded in the products of their handiwork still extant. 
Bis operations were notably successful. 

Early in July Mrs Matilda (\>xe Stevenson proceeded to 
Zuni pueblo for the purpose of investigating certain ceremo- 
nies not adequately studied hitherto, to the end that they might 
be incorporated in her monograph on the Zuni Indians. She 
remained throughout half of the fiscal year, and was able to 
complete her researches in a satisfactory manner, [ncident- 


ally, she obtained at Zuni and Sia a number of sacred masks 
used in the religious ceremonies of the people of those pueblos, 
which have been transferred to the National Museum. 

Toward the end of July Dr Albert S. Gatschet repaired to 
eastern Maine and adjacent portions of New Brunswick in 
search of linguistic material among the tribesmen still living 
on St Croix river. His mission was successful. A large body 
of vocables, paradigms, and texts representing the Passama- 
quoddy dialects of the Algonquian linguistic stock was secured, 
and he was able also to trace definitely, for the first time, the 
derivation of many of the peculiar place names of eastern 

From the middle of August until the middle of December 
Mr J. N. B. Hewitt was occupied in collecting material repre- 
senting the languages and mythology of the Iroquoian Indians 
located in central New York and southern Ontario. His work 
Avas eminently productive, yielding a large amount of material 
of exceptional use for comparative studies in the philology and 
sophiology of the Indians. 

Toward the end of September Mr James Mooney repaired 
to Indian Territory and Oklahoma, where he spent several 
months in collecting information and material relating chiefly 
to the Kiowa Indians. The primary purpose of the trip was 
research concerning the peculiar heraldic system of the tribe; 
another purpose was the continuation of study of the use of 
pevote or "mescal" (a toxic plant corresponding measurably 
witli hashish) in the ceremonies of the Kiowa, Apache, and 
other Indians; later in the season advantage was taken of his 
presence on the ground to make a collection representing the 
Kiowa camp-circle for exhibition at the Tennessee Centennial 
Exposition at Nashville. 

In April Mr W J McGree visited the Muskwaki Indian settle- 
ment near Tama, Iowa, with the object of beginning a special 
study of the social organization of this little-known tribe. 
Although preliminary only, his operations were successful. 
Incidentally he collected a quantity of aboriginal material for 
the National Museum. 

Early in 1896 Mr J. B. Hatcher, of Princeton University, was 


commissioned as a special agent of the Bureau to < obtain photo- 
graphs and other data pertaining to the aborigines of Patagonia 
and Tierra del Fnego. He reached the field and commenced 
operations in the course of a few months, and reports of prog- 
ress were received early in the fiscal year. His field work was 
completed in June. The photography was moderately suc- 
cessful only, but the pictures were supplemented by a small 
though interesting collection of objects representing the handi- 
work of these southernmost representatives of the American 
aborigines. The success of the work, due primarily to Mr 
Hatcher's energy and intrepidity, was promoted through the 
courtesy of various officials of Argentina and Chile, special 
credit being due to Dr Estanislao Zeballos, formerly minister 
plenipotentiary from Argentina to the United States. 

On December 17, 1894, Dr Willis E. Everette was given an 
honorary commission to collect linguistic and other material 
among the aborigines of Oregon, Washington, British Colum- 
bia, and western Mexico, and from time to time he has sub- 
mitted valuable linguistic material produced by his researches 
in these provinces. Especially noteworthy contributions dur- 
ing the year relate to the Tene or Athapascan Indians of 

Early in September Mr E. T. Perkins, jr., of the United 
States Geological Survey, reported the discovery of certain 
remarkable Indian carvings in Snake River valley, Idaho; and 
Mr Perkins was temporarily detailed, through the courtesy 
of Honorable C. D. Walcott, Director of the Survey, to make 
studies and photographs representing these carvings. The 
work was completed about the close of October. 

Early in 1897 Mr II. S. Gane, of the Geological Survey, 
while on a temporary furlough, made a trip through the San 
Juan country in southwestern Colorado and northwestern Xew 
Mexico, under a commission from the Bureau, for the purpose 
of reconnoitering and photographing prehistoric works. His 
notes and pictures were duly transmitted and have been found 
of special value. 

The information and material obtained by means of these 
field operations have been utilized in large part in the prepara- 


tion of reports; other portions have been added to the archives 
for use 1 in prospective investigations, while most of the objective 
material has already been arranged in the National Museum 
in such maimer as to be accessible for study. The scientific 
results of the work are set forth in other paragraphs. 


Work in Esthetology 

During the greater part of the year Mr Frank Hamilton 
Cushing was employed in arranging and cataloguing the 
remarkable collection of relics exhumed from salt marshes in 
western Florida during the previous fiscal year and in prepar- 
ing his report for the press. The objects collected embrace a 
wide variety of domestic implements and utensils, weapons for 
use in war and the chase, fabrics for apparel and fishing, 
appurtenances to water craft, etc. In addition, there were 
many objects such as are used in primitive ceremony, compris- 
ing elaborately painted and carved masks and effigies. Many 
of the industrial devices are painted and carved in a manner 
remarkable for wealth of imagery and delicacy of execution. 

An important part of Mr Cushing's work was comparative 
study of i the designs, in form and color, found in connection 
with the ceremonial and other objects; and substantial progress 
was made in the interpretation of the designs. Most of these 
are zoic. The bear, the wolf, the wild- cat, the woodpecker, 
and different water birds and aquatic animals are represented 
in carvings and paintings with a fidelity to detail which ren- 
ders them' not only readily identifiable but really artistic. 
Some of the effigies approach the natural size, and are attached 
to other articles in such manner as to indicate that they were 
worn as masks or crests, probably in dramatic ceremonies 
analogous to those of the Indians of the pueblos and of other 
primitive peoples. These elaborate carvings are associated 
with wooden masks, shaped to fit the face, bearing painted and 
carved designs of corresponding character, but more or less 
conventionized in form and color. The realistic or partially 
conventionized forms displayed on the masks are imitated not 


onlv on other ceremonial objects but also on the industrial 
devices, and the degree of conventionism increases as the 
representations are reduced in size or distorted to fit forms 
determined by various conditions, so that an unbroken series 
of stages in the development of convention may be traced all 
the way from the essentially realistic representation of the 
animal head to the design carved on the arrowshaft or toma- 
hawk handle, which, at first sight, would seem to be decorative 
merely. The sequence displayed in these esthetic designs is, 
indeed, paralleled in other collections; but the remarkably 
rich assemblage of aboriginal handiwork from the Floridian 
salt marshes, in which such perishable materials as wood, bone, 
plant fiber, feather work, paint, and even leathern thongs are 
preserved, is especially noteworthy for the completeness of 
the sequence and the large number of links represented. 
Accordingly the series of objects would seem to establish the 
view already advocated by different collaborators of the 
Bureau that higher esthetic decoration originates in symbol- 
ism, which may gradually be transformed through conven- 
tionizing, either in the interests of economy or to meet other 
industrial conditions. 

During the previous year Dr J. Walter Fewkes made a col- 
lection of fictile ware and other aboriginal material among the 
ruins of Arizona and New Mexico, which was regarded as rich 
beyond precedent. During the year just closed he made explo- 
rations yielding a still larger body of material, which has been 
subjected to preliminary study, and has already been arranged 
in the Museum. As during the preceding year, fictile ware 
was the predominant material. This ware is characterized by 
symbolic and decorative designs, represented sometimes by 
modeling or by inscribed figures, but more commonly by colors ; 
and for the first time material has been obtained in sufficient 
quantity to afford presumptively complete series of designs for 
certain groups of aborigines at certain periods antedating 
Caucasian invasion, so that various stages in the development 
of esthetic designs may be traced nearly as definitely as in the 
Florida collection. In general, the course of development 
traced in this way is parallel to that made out on the Florida 


coast. The course of development is from the essentially 
(though often crudely) symbolic to the conventional, and 
through various stages of coiiventionizing to forms and colors 
which, at first sight, would he regarded as decorative merely; 
accordingly the collection is important as a source of new 
light on the development of artistic concepts. At the same 
time, that course of developmental succession which it so clearly 
attests has been used successfully in tracing certain movements 
of the aboriginal population. It has long been known that, 
while most of the traditions of the Pueblo peoples recount 
migrations in a southerly or southeasterly direction, there are 
subordinate indications of a northerly or northeasterly drift 
from snowless lowlands or from saline and shell-yielding shores, 
and at least one of the collaborators (Mr McGee) has found 
indications of a culture migration from the once populous val- 
leys of Sonora, with adjacent refuges in the form of entrenched 
mountains, northward into the region of cliff houses, whence 
the mesa-protected pueblos seem to have sprung. Now, Dr 
Fewkes is able to trace a similar northward drift of the esthetic 
designs characterizing the aboriginal pottery of the Pueblos. 
This application of the researches in the development of 
esthetics among the American Indians is essentially new and 
is highly suggestive. Some of the results of the work are 
already incorporated in reports prepared for publication ; others 
are held for comparison and elaboration as the research 

While in Zurii, and afterward at Sia, Mrs Matilda Coxe 
Stevenson gave special attention to the masks and other 
regalia used in ceremonies, and, as already noted, obtained a 
number of especially sacred masks. She found the ceremonial 
regalia to be essentially symbolic. The masks themselves rep- 
resent zoic deities, and their appurtenances are designed to 
express real or ideal attributes of the animals deified, while 
the associated regalia and insignia, including apparel and the 
paint applied to faces, bodies, and extremities, are symbolic of 
similar or related concepts. All of the symbols are conven- 
tion ized in greater or less degree, yet the accompaniments of 
voice and gesture, and even the terms of the ritual, are designed 


to emphasize the symbolism, i. e., to concentrate attention on 
the idea symbolized and divert attention from the conven- 

Primarily the ceremonies and regalia are dramaturgic, and 
the use of the more important regalia is limited to the cere- 
monial representation; yet to some extent the mystical or 
sacred characteristics are supposed to cling to the actors in 
the mystical drama, and in some measure affect their every- 
day life; sometimes the actors are thereby strengthened in 
their positions as shamans, and they, as well as others, may 
continue to, wear the less important regalia, or carry about 
their persons miniature symbols of the specially deific objects. 
In this way the devotional sentiment and the symbolism in 
which it is crystallized are expressed in everyday life and 
commonplace manners; and the devotion and symbolism find 
some expression in ordinary handiwork and still clearer 
expression in the more unusual handiwork involved in making 
and decorating the many articles connected with ceremonial 
rites. The observations are highly significant., in that they 
indicate the characteristics and the dominant influence of 
devotional sentiment among primitive peoples; they are espe- 
cially useful, too, in that they aid in interpreting the symbolism 
depicted on prehistoric relics and corroborate the interpretations 
already rendered. 

In 1877 Mr E. W. Nelson, an acute observer and trained 
naturalist, was commissioned to make collections for the United 
States National Museum in Alaska and adjacent territory in 
North America and Asia. In connection with other duties, he 
was authorized to make ethnologic studies and collections 
among the Eskimo and other Indians at the cost of the Bureau 
soon after its institution. He spent some years among the 
tribes, obtaining vocabularies and other linguistic material and 
making large collections of esthetic and industrial handiwork. 
He also prepared a preliminary draft of a report on the eth- 
nology of the region covered by his operations. On his return 
to Washington the collections, were transferred to the National 
Museum, but failure of health prevented him from completing 
the preparation of the report, so that the collections have hith- 

18 ET1I III 


erto remained without adequate explanation. During the pres- 
ent fiscal year lie returned to Washington from a prolonged 
absence, chiefly in Mexico, and at once undertook the com- 
pletion of the long-delayed report. Through the courtesy of 
Museum officials the collection was brought together for 
renewed study and the preparation of necessary illustrations. 
Mr Nelson's original manuscripts were placed in his hands 
and, before leaving the city in April, he had practically com- 
pleted a general paper with illustrations of typical objects rep- 
resenting the handicraft of the hyperborean tribes with whom 
he came in contact during his sojourn about the Arctic border. 
The memoir is particularly valuable in its full description and 
illustration of the decorative designs characterizing Eskimo 
art. The Eskimo are distinctive in many respects, but in none 
more strongly than in their artistic development ; they are 
clever draftsmen and fairly deft carvers of wood, bone, and 
ivory; many of their implements, weapons, and utensils are 
graved with artistic devices or sculptured in artistic forms, and 
the graving and carving apparently represent a highly conven- 
tionized symbolism. Mr Nelson's motive is accurate descrip- 
tion and faithful illustration of objects rather than analysis and 
synthetic arrangement of designs; yet his memoir is a rich 
repository of material from which the course of development 
represented by Eskimo art may be traced. It is appended to 
this report. 

Work in Technology 

While in contact with the Passamaquoddy Indians on the 
coast of Maine, the Director and Mr Gushing had opportunity 
for studying certain primitive industries yet retained by this 
partially accultured people. Conspicuous among these were 
the industries connected with the building and furnishing of 
domicils. The long persistence of domiciliary industries 
among these Indians may be explained, at least in part, by the 
fact that the birch-bark wigwams are remarkably serviceable 
and economical, so that they were only slowly displaced by 
the little more commodious and much more expensive houses 
of civilization. At the same time, there are strong indications 
of ceremonial observances in connection with the erection of 


habitations, which doubtless serve to prolong the retention of 
the aboriginal type. 

There is a single model for the dwellings of this branch of 
the Algonquian Indians. The structure is rectangular in plan, 
about 12 by 15 feet, with a narrow doorway in one end. The 
end walls stand vertical, while the sides, after rising vertically 
for 5 or 6 feet, are continued upward to form a curved roof, 
interrupted by an orifice over the center of the earthen floor 
for the exit of smoke. The framework is of light arbor- vitse 
poles, neatly cut and shaped by stone implements and fire, the 
uprights set in the ground and lashed to the horizontal pieces 
by means of withes or splints. The walls and roofs are made 
from large sections of birch-bark, carefully overlapped shingle- 
wise and skilfully sewn together with slender splints of ash. 
The door is a dressed deerskin attached to a light crossbar, 
while the smoke-hole is provided with a shifting wind- guard 
which may be so adjusted as to draw out the smoke and exclude 
most of the rain or snow in case of storm. The wigwam con- 
structed in this way is practically wind proof and nearly rain 
proof, strong enough to resist the force of storms and the weight 
of winter's snow, and is capacious and commodious in almost the 
highest possible degree in proportion to the material employed 
in construction. It lasts five years or more without repairs, 
and with occasional repairs as needed may last a generation. 
As a means of studying the house and house building, two 
aged Indians were employed to set up a wigwam near the field 
of work in Mafaie, and with a view of extending the study and 
at the same time perpetuating this form of aboriginal handi- 
craft, they were afterward engaged to re-erect and furnish the 
structure in Washington. It was at first designed to place it 
in the National Museum, but in view of the limitations of space 
it was afterward decided to locate the building in the National 
Zoological Park. 

While supervising the work of the Indians on the wigwam, 
the Director and Mr Cushing observed them using a curved 
knife, held in the hand with the blade projecting toward the 
bod>- (the handle being flattened to fit the face of the thumb, 
by which the attitude 1 of the curved blade is controlled), and 


drawn toward the body in use; and the resemblance of the 
implement to that found among the primitive peoples of Japan 
and the similarity in use were at once noted. At the same 
time Mr Cushing, who was fresh from the tidal marshes of 
Florida in which curved knives of shell are entombed, was 
enabled to interpret more clearly the Floridian shell knives 
and tooth knives, and infer the manner of their use, which 
must have been prevailingly centripetal or inward, rather than 
centrifugal or outward from the body like the tools of civili- 
zation. This simple discovery throws strong light on the 
development of primitive industries, and removes difficulties 
hitherto encountered in the interpretation of primitive imple- 
ments and workmanship. Then, on examining the shell mounds 
and house mounds on the Maine coast, Mr Cushing was enabled 
to explain the occurrence of certain split teeth of the beaver 
found in such associations as to suggest habitual use; for he 
found, on attaching them to handles similar to those of the 
curved knives, that they constituted surprisingly effective 
implements for shaving and carving wood, for opening the 
skins and severing the tissues of animals, and indeed for per- 
forming all of the multifarious functions of the knife. At once 
it became evident that the beaver-tooth knife was much more 
efficient, and among hunters more economical in making and 
carrying, than the knife of chipped stone; and, on investigat- 
ing the history of the curved steel knives made by smiths for 
the Indians in accordance with their own designs, it became 
evident that the beaver-tooth knife was the prototype of that 
in use by the tribesmen today. At the same time, the con- 
nection between the shell knife of the Florida coast and the 
beaver-tooth knife of the Maine coast seemed so close as to 
indicate similarity in origin, the animal substance used in each 
case being that possessing at once the advantages of accessi- 
bility and of economy in manufacture and use. 

Connected in bearing witli the foregoing researches are those 
conducted during the year by Mr W J McGree. During pre- 
vious years he visited the Seri Indians of the Gulf of Califor- 
nia and collected various specimens of their handicraft. The 
collection comprises a series of stone implements, of which a 


number were observed in use, representing a stage in the devel- 
opment of stone art which has hitherto been obscure. Initially, 
these implements are natural pebbles picked up from among 
the quantities of similar pebbles shingling the beach; yet they 
are used for breaking the shells of crustaceans; for crushing 
bones of fish, fowl, and animals; for pounding' apart the tough 
tissues of larger animals; or perchance for crushing and grind- 
ing mesquite beans, cactus seeds, and other vegetal sub- 
stances. Oriffinallv selected almost at random, the stone is 
commonly used but once and then thrown away; but, if the 
habitation happens to be located near, the fitter stones are used 
over and over again, perhaps proving so serviceable that when 
the always temporary residence is changed they are carried 
away as a part of the domestic property of the matron. 
Eventually the stone becomes battered and worn by use, so 
that its shape is changed; then, if rendered less useful by the 
change, it is thrown away, while, if made more serviceable, it 
is retained to become a highly esteemed piece of property, 
always carried by the matron in her wanderings and buried 
with her body at death. The series of implements collected, 
and the much larger series seen in Seriland, but not collected, 
show no trace of predetermined design in form or finish. The 
implements are fairly uniform in size, apparently because the 
users are fairly uniform in strength and the uses fairly uniform 
in force required, and they are fairly uniform in shape because 
of similarity in applications; but as a whole the series is char- 
acterized by absence of design, by fortuitous adaptation rather 
than that complex invention represented by even the simplest 
chipping or flaking. The culture stage represented by the 
series has already been designated protolithic. It is to be noted 
that the Seri Indians have no other stone industry, save a little 
known and apparently accultural custom of chipping stone for 
the sole purpose of making arrowpoints, and that their knives, 
scrapers, awls, needles, and ordinary arrowpoints are made 
from shell, bone, wood, and other substances of organic origin. 
Now, on assembling the industrial devices of the Florida 
marshes, the Maine shell mounds, the Seri Indians, and the 
more primitive survivors of the Algoiiquian tribes located in 


the Maine woods, and comparing these with the corresponding 
devices of the American tribes generally, it is found that the 
industries involving the use of stone for implements or weapons 
fall into a highly significant order, which, despite some over- 
lapping of phases, seems to represent the normal course of 
industrial evolution. The first stage is that in which stone is 
used in natural or fortuitous condition, without predetermined 
design or invention, as among the Seri Indians; this is the 
protolithic stage. It is noteworthy that, in the typical case, and 
presumptively in others, the prevailing industrial devices of 
this stage are of organic material and approach in form and 
function the biotic armament of lower animals. They are the 
readiest substitutes for, and the direct analogues of, teeth and 
claws. The second stage is that represented by wrought stone, 
shaped largely or wholly in accordance with predetermined 
design, whether by battering (undoubtedly the original method) 
or by flaking and chipping; it may be called the technolithic 
stage. This stage is represented by most of the American 
tribes. It is clearly to be noted that this arrangement of stages 
in the development of primitive industry is based wholly on 
research among the American Indians and among the relics of 
their prehistoric ancestors. It is not designed to supplant or 
discredit classifications based on the industrial devices of other 
countries. It is constructive and not destructive, and is formu- 
lated merely as a contribution to scientific knowledge concern- 
ing the aborigines of the Western Hemisphere. 

Another line of research in technology, conducted chiefly 
during the year, though the results were incorporated in a 
paper accompanying a preceding report, relates to primitive 
surgery and medicine. The work, which was based on a col- 
lection of Peruvian crania, was conducted by Mr McGee. Its 
details are significant, in that the interpretations are based on 
the primitive sophiology known to have prevailed among the 
aborigines up to the time of Caucasian invasion, rather than 
on the more realistic philosophy by which civilized practi- 
tioners are guided. The stages of development of curative 
surgical treatment, as traced in the course of the researches, 
need not be repeated; suffice it to say that the investigation 


appears to illumine the previously obscure origin of surgery, 
and at the same time to throw much light on the origin and 
development of medical treatment in general. 

In earlier paragraphs summarizing the results of researches 
concerning the origin and development of the arts, incidental 
allusion is made to the intimate relation between the esthetic 
and the industrial. The relation is double — indeed, manifold — 
and reciprocal. In the first place, the industrial device is usually 
a medium for esthetic devices, graved or carved or painted 
upon it, usually as symbolic invocations to mystical powers 
whereby the efficiency of the implement or utensil may be 
augmented; while, in the second place, the execution of the 
esthetic devices constitutes an important and, in some lands, 
apparently a preponderant part, of the occupation of primitive 
people. Accordingly, the researches in esthetology, carried 
forward during the year by various collaborators, including 
Messrs dishing, Fewkes, and Nelson, and Mrs Stevenson, 
have thrown light on the motives and other causes underlying 
industrial development. 

Work in Sociology 

In continuing the examination and digestion of material col- 
lected during the eighteen years of the existence of the Bureau, 
the Director has given special attention to the principles under- 
lying the social organization of the American aborigines. A 
portion of the results are summarized in a chapter on Regimen- 
tation incorporated in a preceding report. The researches are 
still in progress. 

Mr W J McGree has continued the comparative study of 
social organization with special reference to the Seri and 
Papago Indians. In the former tribe the social organization 
appears to rest wholly on kinship traced through the female 
line; and one of the consequences of this organization and of 
the peculiar isolation of the people is found in a singular mar- 
riage custom, which has been noted in previous reports. The 
Papago Indians, on the other hand, have an organization 
based primarily on kinship traced in the male line, but dis- 
playing also certain indications of transition into some such 


artificial system as that which, on further development, matures 
in civilization, i. e., sometimes the gentes are united in such 
manner that a single kinship group combines two totems; the 
kinship terminology is incomplete in such way as to suggest 
curtailment through disuse; through seasonal migrations and 
other causes there is a constant breaking up of family groups, 
followed by intermingling in new combinations in the form of 
colonies of patriarchal or even feudalistic character; there is 
clear recognition of patriarchal property right in the waters in 
which the material values of their arid territory inhere; while 
the governmental control, though nominally vested in patri- 
archal shamans, is really regulated by an officer selected 
through popular approval, who may be designated the people's 
attorney. It is noteworthy that the Spanish invaders of the 
Western Hemisphere assimilated the aboriginal much more 
completely than the Anglo-Saxon invaders of more northerly 
regions, so that in many instances the social institutions pre- 
vailing in Mexico today have sprung from aboriginal germs. 
This is especially true of the patriarchal organization charac- 
teristic of the Mexican provinces remote from the greater cities 
and railways, which differs in no essential particular from the 
organization still found among the Pap ago Indians and recorded 
in their time-honored traditions. 

Now, the comparative studies of the Seri and Papago social 
organizations, with the analogue of the latter among the mod- 
ern Mexicans, gives opportunity for clearing up certain misap- 
prehensions concerning primitive society. In barbaric culture, 
in which descent is reckoned in the male line, the govern- 
mental control is vested in an elder man (whose seniority may 
be either real or assumed), so that the organization is patriarchal; 
and it has been inferred, without adequate observation and 
with undue influence growing out of the convenience of anti- 
thetic terms, that in savage culture, in which descent is reck- 
oned in the female line, the social organization is matriarchal. 
The case of the Seri Indians is perhaps the most striking among 
many examples, indicating that, even when descent is traced 
exclusively through the female line to the extent that the father 
has no control over Lis wife's property or his own children, the 


tribal control is, nevertheless, vested in male rulers, who may 
be either shamans of exceptional shrewdness, or warriors of 
exceptional valor and cunning. Accordingly the term " matri- 
archal" can be regarded as erroneous and misleading only when 
applied to this culture stage. This becomes especially clear in 
the light of the observations among the Papago Indians and 
the mixed-blood Mexicans, in which the rule is patriarchal, but 
in which there is an associated matriarchy, for the wife of the 
patriarch occupies a position among the women and children 
of the group corresponding to that of her spouse, primarily 
among the men, but secondarily among all; so that patriarchy 
and matriarchy are in reality complementary aspects of that 
culture sta^e in which descent is traced in the male line. Con- 
fusion is avoided by designating the more primitive organiza- 
tion as maternal and the more advanced as paternal, and by 
restricting the terms patriarchal and matriarchal to their legit- 
imate functions, as indicated by the usage of southwestern peo- 
ples. The details of the researches on this subject are too 
extended for summary statement; but the principles developed 
through the study are important as a means of interpreting 
observation and thus guiding special research and contributing 
to scientific knowledge of the aborigines. The work is still 

in progress. 

Work in Philology 

Linguistic studies were pushed forward energetically during 
the earlier years of the existence of the Bureau, partly as a 
means of classifying the Indians in such manner as to guide 
grouping on reservations. A considerable portion of the mate- 
rial collected was, after the immediate practical use, placed on 
file for comparison and study with a view to the discovery of 
the principles of linguistic development. During the fiscal 
year the Director lias reviewed these records in conjunction 
with those pertaining to sociology and sophiology, and lias 
made progress in developing the principles of philology and 
applying them to the ethnic problems presented by the Ameri- 
can aborigines. In primitive society language grows in two 
ways: On the one hand there is a steady enrichment and differ- 
entiation due to the coining of expressions [\n- new ideas; on 


the other hand there is a spasmodic enrichment and modifica- 
tion, both in terms and in grammatic structure, produced by the 
si iock of contact (whether peaceful or inimical) with other 
peoples — the changes consequent on conquest being especially 
important, as has been shown by different philologists. At the 
same time both the lexic and the structural forms — i. e., both 
words and sentences — are simplified through the natural tend- 
ency toward economy in expression. These and other proc- 
esses connected with the growth of language have been 
indicated in some detail in earlier reports. 

Now, on examining the aboriginal languages of America, it 
is found that many of them are interrelated in such manner as 
to indicate specific courses of development, and in all such 
cases the dominant process has been the union or blending of 
more or less diverse elements, both lexic and structural. This 
blending can be explained only as a record of intertribal con- 
tact, and the cases are so numerous — indeed, they are charac- 
teristic of all of the aboriginal tongues — as to indicate that 
practically all of the native languages have been built up and 
shaped chiefly by the combination and blending of antece- 
dently distinct and presumptively discrete tongues. This con- 
clusion as to the development of oral speech in America is 
corroborated by the simpler history of the development of the 
so-called gesture speech, which was widely used by the Indians 
as a partial substitute for, and convenient supplement to, oral 
speech as an intertribal language. When the course of devel- 
opment ascertained by these comparisons is so extended as to 
apply to the entire assemblage of native American peoples, it 
at once becomes evident that the sixty linguistic stocks and five 
hundred dialects extant at the time of the discovery (themselves 
the product of long-continued combination and blending of 
distinct tongues, as the researches have shown) are indubitable 
records of still more numerous and still more widely distinct 
languages of an earlier time, and the more carefully the record 
is scanned the more numerous and the more distinct do the 
original components appear. It is accordingly a necessary 
inference that a large number of distinct, albeit simple if not 
inchoate, tongues originally existed in North America, and that 


the subsequent history has been chiefly one of linguistic inte- 
gration. It is a corollary of this proposition, which is but the 
generalization of all known facts relating to the aboriginal 
languages of America, that the Western Hemisphere must have 
been peopled by the ancestors of the modern Indian tribes 
before the birth of language among them. Both the main 
proposition and the corollary run counter to earlier opinions 
entertained in this and other countries ; yet they are not only 
sustained by the unprecedentedly rich collection of linguistic 
facts preserved in the Bureau archives or published in the 
reports, but by the cumulative evidence obtained through the 
researches concerning the arts, industries, institutions, and 
beliefs of the American aborigines. A more detailed report 
on this subject is in preparation. 

Dr Albert S. Gatschet has continued the collection of lin- 
guistic material pertaining to the Algonquian Indians, and has 
made progress in the preparation of the comparative dictionary 
of Algonquian terms. The new material collected during the 
year was obtained chiefly among the Passamaquoddy Indians 
living in the woods of Maine and adjacent parts of New 
Brunswick. Advantage was taken of an opportunity to obtain 
a Nez Perce vocabulary, representing the Shahaptian stock, 
from Lewis D. Williams, an educated member of the tribe, 
who spent some months in Washington during the earlier part 
of the fiscal year. This record is deemed of special value, 
not only in that it is more complete than those representing 
the same stock already on file, but in that it affords means of 
checking and clearing up doubtful points in the earlier records. 

In addition to collecting a rich body of material relating to 
the languages and beliefs of several Iroquoian tribes, Mr J.N. B. 
Hewitt made considerable progress in the systematic arrange- 
ment of material collected during preceding years. One of 
the more important lines of his work was a study of the pro- 
noun with special reference to its function in primitive lan- 
guage and its relation to other parts of speech. His researches 
indicate with greater clearness than others hitherto conducted 
that the pronoun occupies a much more prominent position in 
primitive speech than in the highly developed languages of 


cultured peoples. The preparation of a special paper on the 
subject was commenced toward the end of the year. Another 
line of work by Mr Hewitt, originating in the collection of 
mythologic texts, was a comparative study of the creation 
myths of different Eroquoianand Algonquian tribes. The pre- 
liminary results of this study are especially significant in their 
bearing on conclusions derived from the study of language. 
On comparing half a dozen versions of the Indian cosmogony 
he was able to detect unmistakable indications of interchange 
of such sort as to prove that originally independent myths 
have undergone considerable coalescence and blending, so that 
the myth, like the speech in which it is crystallized, is a com- 
posite of many elements. Coupled with the features indicating 
coalescence there are indeed certain features indicating differ- 
entiation, chiefly in the direction required to adjust the mythic 
personages to the local fauna; but the indications of differen- 
tiation are far subordinate to the evidence of coalescence or 
integration. A number of typical myths representing the 
aborigines of the northeastern United States have been brought 
together with a view to publication so soon as the general 
discussion is completed. 

Work in Sophiology 

The scope and extent of the researches in sophiology dur- 
ing the fiscal year are in some measure set forth in the 
foregoing^ paragraphs; for the various demotic activities are 
interdependent, and neither arts, industries, institutions, nor 
languages can be developed without the concomitant develop- 
ment of opinions, whether mythic or rational. Important 
additions to the material representing the symbolism and cere- 
monies of the Indians have been made through the labors of 
Mr Cushing in Florida, Dr Few r kes and Mrs Stevenson in Ari- 
zona and New Mexico, Dr Gatschet in Maine, and Mr Hewitt 
in New York and Ontario, as already noted. Mr James 
Mooney continued his researches relating to the Kiowa Indi- 
ans, giving special attention to their heraldic and calendric 
systems, and to the use of peyote in their ceremonies. It is 
well known that dreams and visions, commonly induced by 
fasting, play an important role in connection with the beliefs 


and religious usages of primitive peoples; it is known also 
that among some peoples drugs are used to intensify the 
abnormal condition attended by visions; but there is probably 
no better examule of this custom than that afforded by the 
Kiowa and some neighboring tribes in their use of peyote. 
The mental effects of the drug are something like those pro- 
duced by hashish; its influence is so strong and so certain that 
the Indians using it have come to rely on it for the production 
of the ecstatic state regarded as essential to the proper per- 
formance of their ceremonial rites, while, in turn, the rites 
have been so adjusted to the effects produced by the drug that 
they are, in Mr Mooney's opinion, completely dependent on 
it for their existence. Although the researches concerning the 
subject are not complete, preliminary announcements have 
been made concerning the results of scientific examination of 
peyote and concerning its influence on the religious practices 
of the tribe. 

In connection with his work on this subject, Mr Mooney 
completed during the year a memoir on the Kiowa calendar 
system, which has been incorporated in the seventeenth annual 
report. This memoir is deemed noteworthy as a remarkably 
exhaustive rendering of what may be called the autobio- 
graphic history of an important tribe. 

In his comparative studies of the Seri, Papago, and other 
tribes, Mr McGee was led to consider the course of develop- 
ment of myth, or of the explanation of phenomena in terms 
of the supernatural. It is significant that, so far as can be 
ascertained, supernaturalism is a more potent factor in deter- 
mining conduct among the warlike Seri than among the peace- 
ful Papago, and the examination of other tribes indicates that 
the relation is general — i. e., that the tendency toward super- 
natural explanation, with its concomitant effect on conduct, is 
lira dually rectified by intertribal contact in a manner akin to 
that in which myths and languages are blended. The studies 
are still in progress. 

Descriptive Ethnology 

The preparation of material tor the Cyclopedia of Indian 
Tribes was continued during the year under the immediate 


supervision of Mr F. W. Hodge. As other duties permitted, 
Mr Hodge continued extracting and placing on cards material 
relating to the Pueblo Indians and other southwestern tribes. 
The greater part of the work on the cyclopedia performed 
during the year was that of Dr Thomas, who continued and 
nearly completed the revision, extension, and final arrange- 
ment of the voluminous body of material relating to the 
Algonquian Indians, the largest and most diversified of the 
aboriginal stocks of the territory of the United States. In 
his detailed report Dr Thomas acknowledges gratefully the 
facilities afforded by several libraries of the national capital, 
especially the Library of Congress, whose rich store of 
rare literature has been most courteously made accessible 
by Librarian Ainsworth R. Spofford. Some additions to the 
cyclopedia were made also by other collaborators, particularly 
Mr Mooney. 


The bibliographic work of the Bureau was interrupted in 
1895 by the death of James C. Pilling, who had prepared a 
series of reports on the literature relating to the languages 
of several aboriginal stocks (which were issued as bulletins 
during preceding years), and who had partially completed a 
similar report concerning the aboriginal languages of Mexico. 
During the last fiscal year an arrangement was made whereby 
this portion, at least, of the bibliographic work may be com- 
pleted. The task was generously undertaken by Mr George 
Parker Winship, librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, 
in Providence, already a contributor of valuable material to 
the Bureau. Mr Winship began operations toward the end of 
the year. The material pertaining to Mexico, brought together 
by Mr Pilling, was transferred to his custody, and by the end 
of the year he was able to report substantial progress in the 


The chief work of the year in this department was that of 
I )r J. Walter Fewkes. Already in the field at the beginning 
of the fiscal year, Dr Fewkes proceeded to an extensive ruin 


on Chevlon fork of Little Colorado river, early in July. Later 
he excavated another ruin of imposing dimensions near Chaves 
pass. His work was successful beyond precedent, yielding one 
of the finest and most extensive collections of aboriginal fictile 
ware and associated artifacts ever made in the United States. 
As noted in earlier paragraphs, the material is especially rich 
in symbolic painting and other expressions of the remarkable 
religious beliefs of the Pueblo peoples during prehistoric times. 
A noteworthy collection of ceremonial masks was made at 
Zuni and Sia by Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson, and has been 
duly installed in the National Museum. In the course of his 
field operations, Mr Mooney obtained additional material illus- 
trating the handiwork and ideas of the Kiowa Indians; and 
toward the close of the fiscal year, while temporarily detailed 
to make and arrange collections for the Tennessee Centennial 
Exposition at Nashville, he brought together and, with the aid 
of the Indians, constructed an exhibit showing in miniature 
the characteristics of the Kiowa camp-circle, the significance 
of which is not generally understood. Toward the end of the 
year Mr Hatcher reported the transmission of a small collec- 
tion representing the primitive industries of the aborigines of 
southern Patagonia. In April Mr McGree obtained an interest- 
ing collection of aboriginal matting and wooden ware from the 
Muskwaki Indians, near Tama, Iowa. The greater part of 
the collection has been transferred to the Museum. Among the 
articles is a carved wooden dish corresponding in form, dimen- 
sions, and ornamentation with an earthenware type frequently 
found in the mounds. The specimen is of peculiar interest in 
that its form was determined by the curved beaver-tooth knife 
witli which it was fashioned and in that its esoteric and essen- 
tially prescriptorial symbolism was ascertained, so that it 
explains one of the most persistent forms of aboriginal ware. 
Several other collaborators made minor collections, and a few 
others were acquired from correspondents. One of these is a 
series of iron tomahawk pipes, made for the Indian trade by 
the French pioneers and long used by the tribesmen in lieu 
of the aboriginal weapons of. stone, shell, wood, and copper; 
another was a particularly fine collection obtained from 


the mounds of Missouri and the adjoining' part of Illinois by 
Colonel F. F. Hilder; still another was a series of stone 
implements from the mounds of northern Ohio, which are 
regarded as especially desirable for purposes of comparative 
study in the National Museum. 


Mr Hodge has remained in charge of the details of publi- 
cation, and it is gratifying to be able to report activity, almost 
beyond precedent in the history of the Bureau, in this branch 
of the work. At the beginning of the year the Fourteenth 
Annual Report was partly in type, the Fifteenth was in the 
printer's hands, and proofs of illustrations had been received. 
The Sixteenth Report was in nearly the same condition. The 
editorial work was pushed forward successfully. About the 
end of the calendar year the Fourteenth Report was issued, 
in two volumes, and the distribution was at once commenced. 
The demand for the document was unprecedented, so that the 
edition was practically exhausted within three months. It 
may be observed that this report was more extensively noticed 
and reviewed, both in scientific journals and the ephemeral 
press, than any preceding publication by the Bureau, and that 
the tone of the reviews has been favorable or still more highly 
commendatory, without exception so far as known. Meantime 
the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Reports received constant atten- 
tion, and both were completed and published about the end of 
the fiscal year. The demand for these documents also is 
pressing, and they, too, are being favorably received by the 

The manuscript of the Seventeenth Annual Report was 
transmitted for publication on June 18, 1897. The accompany- 
ing papers comprise "The Seri Indians," by W J McGee; 
" Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians," by James Mooney; 
"Navaho Houses," by Cosmos Mindeleff; together with a fully 
illustrated account of an u Archeological Expedition to Arizona 
in 1895," by J. Walter Fewkes. 

The material for the Eighteenth Report also was brought 
together, and the editorial work was well advanced before the 
end of the year. It is accompanied by two memoirs, each of 


considerable magnitude, so that it becomes necessary to issue it 
in two volumes. The first of these is "The Eskimo About 
Bering Strait," by E. W. Nelson, and the other is the memoir 
on "Indian Land Cessions in the United States," by C. C. 
Royce, with an introduction by Cyrus Thomas, which has 
been described in earlier reports. The former is fully illustrated 
by photographs and drawings, representing the people and the 
extensive collections made by Mr Nelson; the latter is accom- 
panied by numerous maps. 


Library. — The additions to the working library of the 
Bureau were unprecedented in number and value, particularly 
in respect to standard works of reference ; meantime the nor- 
mal growth due to accessions through exchange has continued. 
At the close .of the fiscal year the contents of the library 
comprised 7,138 volumes, in addition to several thousand 
pamphlets and periodicals. 

Illustrations. — -During the earlier part of the year the j:>rep- 
aration of illustrations for reports was continued under the 
direction of Mr DeLancey W. Gill, the photographic work being 
executed by Mr William Dinwiddie. Toward the end of the 
calendar vear Mr Dinwiddie retired from the Bureau, and on 
January 1 Mr Wells M. Sawyer, formerly of the Geological 
Survey, was placed in charge of the illustrative work, includ- 
ing photography. This arrangement has been found satis- 
factory, and the illustrative work is now carried forward 
acceptably in all of its phases. Mr Henry Walther has aided 
Mr Sawyer efficiently in cataloguing and classifying negatives 
and prints, as well as in photographic printing. 

Exhibits. — As noted incidentally in earlier paragraphs, an 
exhibit was prepared for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition 
in Nashville. It comprises half of a Kiowa camp-circle, repre- 
sented in miniature, occupying a semicircular area with a 
radius of about 20 feet in a central portion of the Government 
Building. The installation of the material was completed in 
time for the formal opening, and before the end of the fiscal 
year it became evident that the display will be generally 
regarded as attractive and successful. 

18 ETH IV 



Appropriation by Congress for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1897, "for 
continuing ethnological researches among the American Indians, under 
the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, including salaries or com- 
pensation of all necessary employees" (sundry civil act, approved 
.June 11, 1896) $45,000.00 

Salaries or compensation for services $32, 259. 15 

Traveling and field expenses $3, 859. 34 

Drawings and illustrations 1, 429. 70 

Office rental 999.96 

Ethnic material (specimens, etc.) 378. 22 

Office furniture 21. 00 

Publications for library 1, 474. 06 

Stationery 330. 60 

Freight „ 216. 39 

Temporary services 1, 231. 66 

Supplies 1,750.43 

Reports 517. 40 

Miscellaneous 314. 05 



Balance, July 1, 1898, to meet outstanding liabilities =. . . 218. 04 


Subjects Treated 

The two memoirs appended to illustrate the results of the 
work of the Bureau are of somewhat special character. The 
first relates to the Eskimo about Bering strait, who were visited 
and studied by Mr Nelson with the primary purpose of collect- 
ing their typical productions for the National Museum; accord- 
ingly, the primary motive of the memoir is description and 
illustration of the handiwork of the Eskimo; but while engaged 
in making the collection the author availed himself of oppor- 
tunities for observation of tribal habits, as well as of the vil- 
lages and their surroundings, and the data so obtained are 
incorporated in the description, which is thereby made to pre- 
sent a general picture of the Eskimo on both sides of Bering 
strait in their various aspects. The second memoir, on Indian 
Land Cessions, treats of the aborigines in their relations to 
white men, rather than to primitive conditions; yet the facts 
set forth in the maps and schedules are requisite to full under- 
standing of the characteristics and movements of the native 

In geographic distribution, the first memoir relates to much 
of the coastwise portion of Alaska, and to the corresponding 
area occupied by similar peoples in Siberia, while the area cov- 
ered in the second paper is practically conterminous with that 
of the United States, exclusive of Alaska. 

At the date of Mr Nelson's visit the Alaskan Eskimo were 
comparatively little affected by contact with American whalers, 
missionaries, and traders, and revealed comparatively little 
evidence of acculturation through earlier contact with the 
Russians; accordingly, the portion of this interesting people 
gathered about Bering strait and described in the accompany- 
ing memoir may be regarded as fairly representative, and 



about as nearly in aboriginal condition as any portion of the 
great Eskimauah stock thus far studied. Naturally the memoir 
on land cessions deals with tribes after more or less complete 

The Eskimo About Bering Strait 

( )n the acquisition of Alaska by the United States, questions 
as to the resources and capabilities of the newly acquired 
territory were agitated; and, as a natural and necessary step 
toward answering these questions, the late Spencer F. Baird, 
then secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, instituted a series 
of meteorological observations on the Alaskan coast. In carry- 
ing' out the plan, Mr E. W. Nelson was stationed at St Michael 
in 1877; and his observations were continued, with brief inter- 
ruptions, until 1881, when he was made naturalist of an expe- 
dition to the northern coast of Siberia. Throughout his stay 
at St Michael and during several exploratory trips made there- 
from, and while acting as naturalist of the later expedition, 
Mr Nelson, under instructions from the Smithsonian Institution, 
availed himself of opportunities for collecting products of 
Eskimo handicraft; at the same time, under the inspiration of 
noteworthy scientific zeal, he constantly sought opportunity 
for observation and inquiry concerning the habits, customs, 
social regulations, beliefs, and ceremonies of the tribes with 
which he came in contact. After the institution of the Bureau, 
Mr Nelson was, at the instance of Secretary Baird, commis- 
sioned to extend his inquiries and collections under the auspices 
of the Bureau; through this special incentive, the product of 
his work was materially increased in quantity and value. 
With the close of the expedition, the material and the records 
relating thereto were transferred to Washington, and the 
collections were duly installed in the National Museum. 
Unfortunately, failure of health prevented Mr Nelson from 
immediately elaborating his records for publication; and he 
was compelled to leave the capital and repair, to the arid 
regions of southwestern United States and Mexico, where he 
slowly regained strength. His inclination and abilities led 
him to resume researches in natural history as his restoration 


to health progressed, and he became a collaborator of the 
Agricultural Department attached to the Biological Survey. 
In 1893 he was so far recovered as to offer, for the first time, 
some promise of arranging his manuscript, and illustrating it 
from the collections, in a form suitable for publication; and 
during the winter of 1895-96 this plan was largely carried 
out. The descriptions of the territory, the tribes, and the 
objective collections are incorporated in the accompanying 
memoir; the linguistic collections made in connection with the 
other lines of work are not vet finally elaborated. 

The Eskimauan family or stock constitutes one of the most 
remarkable peoples of the world. They are noteworthy as 
the most northerly and most characteristically Arctic inhabit- 
ants of America and part of Eurasia; they are conspicuous 
for the vast linear extent and extreme narrowness of their 
range — a range merely skirting the coasts of Arctic water 
from Greenland to Siberia; they are remarkable for close 
similarity throughout their extensive range — in language, 
beliefs, industries, and a peculiar esthetic development — and 
equally remarkable for dissimilarity from neighboring peoples 
of other families; and most students have been puzzled by the 
apparent absence of definite social organization, and, in some 
cases, by the apparent absence of fiducial ceremonies. Several 
of these characteristics of the Eskimo receive new light through 
the intimate acquaintance enjoyed by Mr Nelson with the tribes 
about Bering strait. The memoir fully illustrates and empha- 
sizes the delicate interrelation between the Eskimo and their 
severe environment; the implements, utensils, weapons, cloth- 
ing, and habitations are of local material, and of type deter- 
mined, at least in large measure, bv material and other local 
conditions; the principal elements of belief and ceremony 
reflect climatal and other local factors in a conspicuous degree; 
while the special manifestations of capacity include endurance 
of cold and wet, deftness in making and handling water craft, 
ability for forced marches through sun and storm, skill in 
improvising shelters, etc. On the whole, the Eskimo afford a, 
peculiarly instructive example of adjustment to surroundings, 
and of enforced — albeit slow — progress in making conquest <>f 
environment in their strife for existence. 


Distributed with fair uniformity over a practically continu- 
ous const, the Alaskan Eskimo illustrate the social structure and 
relations of the social groups of which the stock is composed. 
These groups correspond in all essential respects to the tribes 
of other aboriginal stocks, save that the tribal distinctions are 
less conspicuous; each is characterized by a distinct dialect 
whose special features are apparently emphasized by purposive 
intonation and other devices ; each has a distinct, albeit perhaps 
indefinite, organization and governmental personnel ; in many 
cases there are consistent distinctions in dress, decoration, and 
industrial devices ; and the groups intermarry among each other, 
but avoid union with alien tribes. It is noteworthy that cer- 
tain physical distinctions appear to accompany these demotic 
distinctions in some instances; yet it is hardly less significant 
that the somatic distinctions are inconstant and only partially 
consistent with the demotic distinctions. 

One of the most important facts developed by the work is 
the existence of a regular gentile organization, with corre- 
sponding totems, among the Alaskan Eskimo north of Kusko- 
kwim river. As usual among the American aborigines, the 
totems are zoic, including the wolf, otter, ermine, gerfalcon, 
raven, bear, etc. The totems are represented by symbols on 
implements and utensils, by marks on clothing, and, at least 
in some cases, by tattooing. Unfortunately, the concomitant 
social structure was for the most part concealed beyond reach 
of any inquiries the author was able to make. The discovery 
of the totems and of their connection with a definite kinship 
system is especially noteworthy as practically the first of the 
kind; hitherto observers among the western Eskimo have 
apparently failed to penetrate the well-concealed and probably 
decadent social foundation, while it would appear that among 
the eastern Eskimo the primitive features are so far masked 
by more advanced or cultural features as to elude detection. 

Indian Land Cessions 

When the Bureau was instituted in 1879, it was deemed 
desirable to investigate the subject of aboriginal land tenure, 
and, partly as a means to this end, partly because of the 


inherent interest in the work, to examine into the transfer of 
the aboriginal holdings to conquering" nations. Detailed 
inquiry was assigned to Mr Charles C. Royce, who prepared 
for the first annual report a brief paper on the Indian land 
cessions of Indiana, which served to illustrate the methods 
and purposes of the inquiry. The investigation was continued, 
and yielded a more elaborate memoir on the land cessions of 
the Cherokee Indians, published in the report for 1883-84. 
With the extension of the research, many difficulties were 
encountered; in some cases the cessions were imperfectly 
recorded; in the greater number of cases the cessions were 
made in advance of the execution of trustworthy surveys and 
maps, so that the boundaries of the ceded territory were 
indefinite; in numerous instances the cessions were defined by 
metes and bounds, beginning at temporary or shifting objects 
as starting points which were lost or changed before surveys 
were made; and, in many cases, the original areas were modi- 
fied after the extension of the public land surveys into the 
districts, and the modifications were sometimes made without 
definite record. These and other obstacles to the work not 
only retarded its progress materially, but sometimes introduced 
elements of uncertainty in the results. In the effort to over- 
come the obstacles and minimize the uncertainties, Mr Royce 
engaged in extensive correspondence with state and county 
officers, visited doubtful localities, and personally examined 
various state and county records; he also examined personally 
numerous unpublished papers, letters, maps, plats, and other 
records in the offices of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 
and the Commissioner of the General Land Office; and it is a 
special pleasure to acknowledge the constant courtesy of the 
officials of these sister bureaus throughout the considerable 
period covered by the inquiry. 

In 1885, Mr Royce, having extended his work practically 
throughout the United States, and having made his material 
nearly ready for publication, retired from the Bureau and the 
work. Various circumstances, including a change in the law 
relating to the publications of the Bureau, delayed the final 
preparation and printing of the material; and in 1894 it was 


placed in the hands of Dr Cyrus Thomas, who was commis- 
sioned to bring the schedules and maps up to date, to prepare 
a general introduction, and to revise the material in the light of 
later history. In this task Dr Thomas, like Mr Rovce in the 
earlier stages of the work, was courteously given access to 
records, and otherwise assisted by the Indian and Land offices. 
The tabulation is brought up to 1895. 

The views of primitive men, like the American aborigines, 
with respect to land tenure are essentially unlike the views 
prevailing in civilization, especially in that advanced culture 
in which individual land tenure is customary. To the primi- 
tive man, land is a free and common possession, like water in 
more advanced culture, and like air in current thought; each 
tribe, indeed, recognized its range, but did not regard the land 
as an element, much less a basis, of value; and within the tribe 
the interest in the range was common and indivisible. This 
distinction in fundamental views of land tenure has always 
formed one of the most serious obstacles in the way of har- 
monious association between peoples of unlike culture grade; 
and much of the strife between Caucasian and native on 
American soil has grown out of the failure of each to grasp or 
even to perceive the fundamental principles of the other. 
Accordingly, the history of the acquisition of lands by white 
men may be regarded as a history of the slow acquisition 
of the first principles of civilized land tenure on the part of 
the red men; and there is, perhaps, no more striking mark of 
the intellectual progress of the Indian through contact with the 
Caucasian than that afforded by the now fairly common 
instances of the acceptance of land ownership in severalty. 
The essential difference in fundamental ideas concerning land 
tenure between white men and red should be constantly borne 
in mind in dealing with the motives and considerations of land 
cession on the part of the Indians, 

Reviewing the history of America's acquisition of lands from 
the Indians in the light of the fundamental differences in view 
between the two peoples, it becomes evident that despite the 
pitiably frequent cases of personal and temporary injustice to 
the weaker race, the general policy has been guided by a deep- 


grounded recognition of the principles of justice and right on 
the part of both peoples; it becomes equally clear that the 
weaker people have suffered the more from the contact simply 
because they are the weaker, and it becomes still more clearly 
evident that the recognition of the rights of the aboriginal 
land-holders has grown stronger and firmer with the passing of 
generations from the first settlement to the present, that the 
sympathy for the weaker race has increased with mutual 
understanding, and that the justice shown the red man is more 
richly tempered with mercy today than during any earlier 

While the primary purpose of the research maturing in this 
memoir was strictly ethnologic, and while it was carried for- 
ward with the chief object of elucidating aboriginal character- 
istics, it is thought that the memoir will be practically useful 
to historians, students of civilized institutions, and other classes 
of citizens, including especially those makers and interpreters 
of our laws more directly concerned with proprietary rights 

and tenures. 

18 eth v 








Introductory 19 

Sketch of tbe western Eskimo 23 

Geographic features of their range s 23 

I )istribution of tribes and dialects. 24 

Physical characteristics 26 

Clothing 30 

Garments in general 30 

Waterproof garments 36 

Ear-liaps 37 

Gloves and mittens 38 

Foot-wear 10 

Boots 40 

Socks and hoot-pads 43 

Clothing hags 43 

Personal adornment 44 

Lab rets 44 

Tattooing 50 

Beads and earrings 52 

Hair ornaments and combs 57 

I bracelets 58 

•Belts and belt buttons 59 

1 Ftensils and implements 63 

Lamps 63 

I Uppers, ladles, and spoons 65 

Wooden dishes, trays, and buckets 70 

Pestles 73 

Blubber hooks and carriers 73 

Bags for water and oil 73 

Rakes 74 

Root picks 75 

Bone breakers .' 75 

Fire-making implements 75 

Snow beaters 77 

Snow shovels and ice picks 78 

Mallets 79 

Implements used in arts and manufactures 80 

Ivory and bone working tools 80 

Drills, drill -bows, and caps 81 

Knives h5 

Chisels 86 

Polishing and finishing tools : 87 

Wedges and mauls 88 

AiTowshaft straighteners 88 

Beaver-tooth tools 89 

Birch-bark tools 90 


Q CONTENTS [eth.anx.18 

Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued. 

Implements used in arts aiid manufactures — Continued. Page 

stone implements !'l 

Tool bags and handles . 93 

Tool boxes '. 03 

Women's workboxes 98 

Handles for workboxes and water buckets 100 

Needle-eases 103 

Women's " housewives " 101 

Needles and bodkins 106 

Boot-sole creasers 108 

Women's knives 108 

Thimbles and thimble holders 109 

Implements for making thread and cord _ 110 

Skin-dressing tools 112 

Skin dressing ? 116 

Hunting and hunting implements , 118 

Animal traps and snares 118 

Bird snares and nets . . 131 

Seal spears 135 

Walrus and whale spears 137 

Floats 140 

Lances 145 

Spear and lance heads 147 

Throwing sticks 152 

Bows 155. 

Arrows 157 

Arrows for large game 157 

Bird arrows 159 

Fish arrows 160 

Arrowpoints 161 

Quivers 161 

Wrist-guards .... 161 

Boxes for arrow- and spear-points 162 

Firearms 163 

Hunting bags and helmets 166 

Snow goggles 169 

Hunting and skinning knives 171 

Drag handles - 172 

Fishing and fishing implements 173 

Methods of fishing ." * 173 

Fish traps 183 

Nets 185 

Net-making implements .* 190 

Gauges 190 

Shuttles and needles 19i 

Marlinspikes 193 

Reels 193 

Fish spears - 194 

Arts and manufactures 196 

Bone and ivory carving 196 

Drawing 197 

Writ ten records L98 

Taints and colors 198 

Pottery 26l 

Mats, baskets, and bags 202 

nelson] CONTENTS 7 

Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued. Page 

Travel and transportation 205 

Sleds ! 205 

Doix harness and accouterments 201) 

Breast yokes 211 

Snowshoes 212 

Ice stalls 214 

Ice creepers 215 

Boats 216 

Boat hooks 222 

Paddles 223 

Spear and paddle guards 226 

Trade and trading voyages 228 

Units of value and measurement — Numeration 232 

Units of value 232 

I nits of measurement 232 

Chronometry . . . ., 234 

Numeration '. 235 

Villages and houses 241 

Ruins 263 

Food .267 

Tobacco and smoking , 271 

Methods of using tobacco 27.1 

Tobacco implements 273 

Snuff-boxes 273 

Snuff-tubes 275 

Boxes for fungus ashes 275 

Quid boxes 278 

Pipes 280 

Tobacco bags 284 

House-life and social customs 285 

The kashim 2*5 

S vreat baths 287 

Dwelling houses 2S8 

Childbirth 280 

Puberty 291 

Marriage 291 

Moral characteristics 292 

Treatment of disease. 309 

Mortuary customs 310 

Totems and family marks 322 

Wars 327 

Games and toys ' 330 

Music and dances 347 

Feasts and festivals 357 

The function of the celebrations 357 

Calendar of festivals 357 

The "Inviting- in" feast ' 358 

The "Asking" festival 35!) 

The trading festival ^! 361 

Feasts to the dead 363 

Mortuary feasts in general 363 

Great least to the dead ' 365 

Masks and niasket tes 303 

Other ceremonial objects 1 1 r> 

Religion and mythology 421 


Sketch of the western Eskimo — Continued. Page 
Religion and mythology — Continued. 

Effect of Christian contact 421 

Witchcraft 422 

Shades of the dead 422 

Genesis myth — the Ka ven Father 425 

Supernatural powers 427 

Mythic animals 441 

Conception of natural phenomena 449 

Traditional showers of ashes : 449 

Animal symbolism 450 

Folk tales . 450 

Scope of Alaskan folklore . 450 

Flood legends from St Michael , 452 

Tales of the Raven 152 

The creation 452 

Haven takes a wife 462 

The Haven, the Whale, and the Mink 464 

The Red Bear (from St Michael and Norton sound) 467 

The Giant 471 

The One-who-finds-nothing 474 

The Lone Woman 479 

The circling of cranes 480 

The dwarf people 480 

The Sun and the Moon (from St Michael) 481 

The Sun and the Moon (from the Lower Yukon) 482 

Origin of land and people 482 

The bringing of the light by Raven 483 

The Red Bear (from Andreivsky) 485 

The last of the Thunderbirds 486 

The Land of the Dead 488 

The strange boy 490 

Origin of the Yu-gi-yhik' or I-tT-ka-tah' festival 494 

Origin of winds 497 

The strong man 499 

The Owl-girl 499 

Tale of Ak'-chik-chu'-guk 499 

The discontented Grass-plant 505 

The lire ball .- 510 

The Land of Darkness 511 

The Raven and the Marmot 511 

The shaman in the moon 515 

The Man-worm 516 

Migration legend 516 

Origin of the people of Diomede islands and of East cape, Siberia 517 



Plate I. Group of Kifmgumut from Port Clarence 19 

II. Distribution of the Eskimo about Bering strait 23 

III. Malemut family from Shaktolik 25 

IV. Kifmgumut male, Su-kn-uk, age 25 27 

V. Kinugumut male, Komik-serier, age 23. . 29 

VI. Kinugumut male, Kyo-kuasee, age 16 31 

VII. Kinugumut male, Iser-kyner, age 20 33 

VIII. Kinugumut female, Kok-suk, age 23 35 

IX. Kinugumut female, Unger-keo-kluk, age 22 37 

X. Kinugumut female, age 22 39 

XI. Siberian Eskimo: a, Woman of Mechigme bay. b, Woman of East 

cape 40 

XII. Eskimo men — Mechigme bay, Siberia 43 

XIII. ( ape Prince of Wales and Icy cape men. 45 

XIV. Typically dressed women and children from East cape, Siberia 47 

XV. Typical dress of Kaviagmut and Kuskokwogmut men and women. .. 49 

XVI. Man's birdskin frock.' (64273) 50 

XVII. Front and back of man's deerskin frock. (49107) 53 

XVIII. Front and back of woman's frock. (7510) 55 

XIX. Front of man's fishskin frock. (38817) 56 

XX. Men's gloves: 1 (64271), 2 (1728), 3 (48135), 4 (64287), 5 (44350), 6 

(38454), 7 (48101) 58 

XXI. Boots, waterpro >f mittens, and straw socks: 1 (49082), 2 (38814), 
3 (48127), 4 (43345), 5 (49083), 6 (48381), 7 (48132), 8 (38871), 9 

(38779), 10 (129822), 11 (43315), 12 (49164) 60 

XXI I. Labrets : 1 (176070), 2 (31277), 3 (176069), 4 (36869), 5 (36871), 6 (176074), 
7 (37038), 8 (16210), 9 (43757), 10 (16205), 11 (16204), 12 (16203), 13 
(76681), 14 (176067), 15 (76678), 16 (48749), 17 (33506), 18 (37663), 19 
(44903), 20 (44902), 21 (48898), 22 (45200), 23 (176068), 24 (63839), 

25 (44130) 62 

XXIII. Kotzebue sound Malemut men and women with labrets 64 

XXIV. Earrings: 1 (4573), 2 (48306), 3 (38170), 4 (37271), 5 (4574), 6 (37270), 
7 (4572), 8 (38051), 9 (24701), 10 (38168), 11 (4569). 12 (43(567), 13 
(36839), 11 (37517). 15 (37264), 16 (4570), 17 (4568), 18 (36862), 19 

11912) 66 

XXV. Earrings and other ornaments: 1(37002), 2 (37745), 3 (37006), 4 (37007), 
5 l 13743), 6 (37003).? (3(5003), 8 (38417), 9 (37258), L0 (37254), 11 

(38410), 12 (37356), L3 (43730) (58 

XXVI. Won mm i ;ind child re n of Cape Smith 70 

'The Bgurea in parentheses following the titles of the illustrations refer to the numbers <>i' the 
objects in the catalog of the United States National Museum. 


10 ILLUSTRATIONS [eth.anx.18 

Plate XXVII. Belt fasteners : 1 (44428), 2 (37206), 3 (37043), 4 (48629), 5 
(37212), 6 (44641), 7 (36920), 8 ( 13724). !) (37034), 10 (43880), 
11 (45183), 12 (36911), 13 (03835), 11 (44529), 15 (43723), 10 
(37468), 17 (43719), 18 (37484), 19 (38565), 20 (37833), 21 
( 37012). 22 (48194), 23 (37990), 24 (43615), 25 (37209), 26 

(37332), 27 (37989), 28 (38553), 29 (37706), 30 (37333) 72 

XXVIII. Lamps and pots: 1 (63545), 2 (38078), 3 (64222), 4 (63544), 5 
( 03566), 6 (30761), 7 (63570), 8 (49196), 9 (63543), 10 (127018), 

11 (49110), 12 (44338), 13 (63548 ) 74 

XXIX. Ladles and dippers: 1 (38629), 2 (45054), 3 (45100), 4 (38631), 5 
(38635), 6 (33062), 7 (45007), 8 (38604), 9 (45513), 10 (63575), 

11 (63576), 12 (48129) 76 

XXX. Spoons and ladles: 1 (33280), 2 (63227), 3 (37340), 4 (37475), 5 
(37116), 6 (35961), 7 (63832), 8 (37118), 9 (36355), 10 (35959), 
11 (36358), 12 (38062), 13 (36359), 14 (36357), 15 (63278), 16 
(38508), 17 (38527), 18 (45051), 19 (38503), 20 (43491), 21 

(38637), 22 (35960), 23 (37120), 24 (38632), 25 (38638) 78 

XXXI. Trays and pestles: 1 (63719), 2 (127007), 3 (48844), 4 (38678), 5 

(37868), 6 (38683), 7 (38844), 8 (38677), 9(127019) 80 

XXXII. Trays and buckets: 1 (63243^ 2(38654), 3 (38685), 4(33066), 

5 (37143), 6 (37355), 7 (63245), 8 (38642) 82 

XXXIII. Implements and utensils: a, Water bag, mouthpieces, blubber 

hook, and carrier: 1 (44605), 2 (35982), 3 (37432), 4 (36488), 
5 (33213), 6 (43954), 7 (30774), 8 (16135), 9 (37375), 10 (38708), 
11 (30773), 12 (33203). b, Root picks : 1 (16132), 2 (44414), 3 
(33081) 84 

XXXIV. Fire-making implements: 1, 2, 3 (33166), 4, 5 (36325), 6 (49067), 

7,8 (37961), 9 (38601) 86 

XXXV. Snow shovel, pick, rake, and maul: 1 (63600), 2 (48994), 3 

(63650), 4 (63601) 88 

XXXVI. a. Ivory working tools : 1 (63274), 2 (65483), 3 (37980), 4 (63319), 5 
(63316), 6 (43821), 7 (33604), 8 (48087), 9 (46145), 10 (48179). 
/>, Drill bows: 1 (44206), 2 (44209), 3 (44467), 4 (33189), 5 
(33186), 6 (33191), 7 (45017), 8 (63804), 9 (44208), 10 (48021), 11 

(63622) 90 

XXXVII. Drills, drill caps, and cords: 1 (45563), 2 (126986), 3 (33171), 4 
(63323), 5 (33170), 6 (38798), 7 (89625), 8 (89627), 9 (44203), 10 
(33172),. 11 (38084), 12 (63720), 13 (48585), 14 (48505), 15 
(49177), 16 (45520), 17 (63663), 18 (33147), 19 (33174), 20 
(37962), 21 (33653), 22 (33149), 23 (36321), 24 (48927), 25 
(16176), 26(45383), 27 (36322), 28 (44561), 29 (120995). 30 

(63506) 92 

XXXVIII. Wood-working tools: 1 (48705), 2 (38292), 3 (46147), 4 (48706), 5 
(36427), 6 (38494), 7 (44981), 8 (48704), 9 (30508), 10 (48552), 11 
(38201), 12 (36420), 13 (45150), 14 (48542), 15 (43883), 16 
(45163), 17 (33026), 18 (30554), li) (32882), 20 (48847 ), 21 (36360), 
22 (04151), 23 (38294), 24 (89634), 25 (64155), 20 (32878), 27 
(63320), 28 (45488), 29 (63318), 30 (3(5507), 31 (48291) 94 

XXXIX. Wedges and adzes: 1 (38836), 2 (10007), 3 (44001), 4 (48873). 5 
(63619), (48872), 7 ( 127023), s (48182), 9 (38258), 10 (33082), 

11 (37805 ). 12 (15009), 13 (33200), 14 (33083) 9(5 

XL. Arrowshaftstraighteners and point setters: I (33039), 2 (03723), 
3 ( 14383), 4 (11115), 5 (33048), (38192), 7 (64159), 8 (48680), 

9 (48723), 10(63790), 11 (43924), 12 (11745) 99 

XLL Tool Lag and handles: L (64151), 2 (44169), 3 (44398), 4 (18531), 

5 (63305), ( 1X529), 7 (18089) > 101 


Plate XLII. Tool and trinket boxes : 1 (49103), 2 (63240), 3 (36240), 4 (37561), 5 
(43887), 6 ( 36239), 7 (36243), 8 (36241), 9 (49015), 10 (36244), 
11 (36216) 102 

XLIII. Bucket and box handles: 1 (44691), 2 (48685), 3 (63824), 4 (48270), 

5 (38752), 6 (36375), 7(48461), 8 (63809), 9 (24431), 10 (38776), 

11 (44716), 12 (63801), 13 (33279), 14 (48137), 15 (48164), 16 
(33273), 17 (43820), 18 (38751), 19 (33220), 20 (63884), 21 
(129218), 22 (44190), 23 (48163), 24 (43809), 25 (63879), 26 
(44276) 104 

XLIV. 44i imble guards, needle-cases, and boot-sole creasers: 1 (48496), 2 
(63421), 3 (36459), 4 (36456). 5 (36463), 6 (36464), 7 (48299), 8 
(36455), 9(36453), 10 (36454), 11 (44011), 12 (48664), 13 (36452), 
14 (44340), 15 (43861), 16 (64165), 17 (63827), 18 (64167), 19 
(48570) ; 20(44017), 21 (37237), 22 (36885), 23 (36878), 24 (45459), 
25 (24484), 26 (33462), 27 (36880), 28 (48560), 29 (45168), 30 
(64164), 31 (38448), 32 (33699), 33 (43505), 34 (48980), 35 (36742), 
36 (36758), 37(37807), 38(33214), 39 (36721), 40 (44137), 41 
(48546), 42 (63806), 43 (16189), 44 (48289), 45 (38364), 46 (38449), 

47 (43738), 48 (33677), 49 (45140), 50 (43389), 51 (48543) 106 

XLY. "Housewives" and fastenings: 1 (48963), 2 (37778), 3 (43662), 4 
(36690), 5 (37791), 6 (36695), 7 (37786), 8 (37189), 9 (37783), 10 
(45142), 11 (43663), 12 (49001), 13 (37319), 14 (64288), 15 (38691), 
16 (44021), 17 (38198), 18 (48795), 19 (37767), 20 (38221), 21 
(38402), 22 (36419), 23 (37310), 24 (37457), 25 (38376), 26 (38241), 
27 (37739), 28 (35972), 29 (43694), 30 (38387), 31 (16343), 32 
(38690) 108 

XLVI. Bodkins: 1 (33251), 2 (37304), 3 (38385), 4 (37752), 5 (37621), 

6 (36286), 7 v 36631), 8(36634), 9(43535), 10(36632), 11 (37776), 

12 (43388), 13 (36626), 14 (48798), 15 (48948), 16 (38495) 110 

XLYII. Fish and skinning knives : 1 (36315), 2 (63771), 3 (63773), 4 '37957), 

5 (43892), 6 (36506), 7 (48829), 8 (48828), 9 (38256), 10 (43482).. 112 
XLVIII. Thread- and cord-making implements: a, Grass combs: 1 (44779), 
2 (44777), 3 (44419), 4 (48120), 5 (33145), 6 (63657), 7 (48842), 
8 (38079), 9 (48877), 10 (48918). b, Thread shuttles and 
needles: 1 (24463), 2 (24461), 3 (36449), 4 (48261), 5 (48287), 6 

(43740), 7 (43742), 8 (36448) 114 

XLIX. Skin scrapers: 1 (30825), 2 (63851), 3(64181), 4 (63850), 5(48631), 
6(63868), 7(48621), 8(44084), 9(63849), 10(44983), 11 (44982), 
12 (48882), 13 (43408), 14 (64176), 15 (38252), 16 (63405), 17 

(388*28), \x (33086), 19 (38485), 20 (43927) 116 

L. Skin-cleaning tools: 1 (43133), 2 (32890), 3 (38755), 4 (43767), 
5 l:8256) : 6(36520), 7(44771), 8 (63800), 9 (63353), 10 (63351), 
11 (63833), 12 (63666), 13 (37967), 14 (45730), 15 (32885), 10 

I 15105), 17(48982), is (48519) 118 

LI. Nets, snares, and traps: 1 (38622), 2 (33716), 3 (43291), 1 ( 11255), 

5 (126033), (5 ( 16072), 7 (37651), 8 (63815), 9 (33,820), 10 (33812), 

II (126993), 12 (63590), 13 (63590), II (63258), 15 (126993), 
16(38444) 122 

LII. Braining clubs and seal-capturing implements: 1 (63745), 2 
(63676), :: (38476), 1 (331 13), 5 (37598), 6 (63270), 7 (63788), 8 
(63787), 9(48503), 10(48167), 11 (33,113), 12 (48561), 13 15113), 
11 (38500), 15 (63777), 16 (44411), 17 (45003), 18 (45005), 19 
(15047), 20 (63876), 21 (63781), 22 (44142), 23 (64218), 24 

127013), 25 (46355), 26 (63780) 126 

LI II. St M ichael hunter casting a seal spear 135 

12 ILLUSTRATIONS [kiii.axx.18 

Plati: LIV. Small seal spears and lines: 1 (175669), 2 (33980), 3 (36110), 4 (33872), 

5 (36103), 6 (37350), 7 ( 13748), 8 (36081), 9 (175673), 10(160337).. 137 
LV. Spears and iances: a, Large spears: 1 (33911), 2 (29780), 3 (48150), 

1 | 33973), 5 (36067), 6 (33888), 7 (45115), 8 (43429). b, Lances: 
1 (175672), 2 (48379), 3 (45419), 4 (45431), 5 (37388), 6 (,37389) . 139 
LVI. Hunting and fishing apparatus: a, Float, float-plugs, and mouth- 
pieces: 1 (37820), 2 (37239), 3 (44627), 4 (36499), 5 (37822), 6 
(36498), 7 (43981), 8 (44306), 9 (43509), 10 (44629), 11 (45169), 

12 (44305), 13 (43510), 14 (44770), 15 (37329), 16 (36209), 17 
(33298), 18 (63340), 19 (44285), 20 (33452), 21 (33451), 22 (36495), 

23 (63663), 24 (44284), 25 (37818), 26 (33627), 27 (36209), 28 
(44432), 29 (43515), 30 (45126), 31 (63342). b, Cord attachers: 
1 (16192), 2 (37054), 3 (37060), 4 (37068), 5 (37824), 6 (37052), 7 
(38149), 8 (48317), 9 (37055), 10 (37036), 11 (129271), 12'(44709), 

13 (37064), 14 (43624), 15 (33650), 16 (49009), 17 (43382), 18 
(33630), 19 (38006), 20(37218), 21 (37228), 22 (33445), 23 (37057). 142 

LVI I. Objects used in hunting: a, Lance points, etc. : 1 (48389), 2 (43758), 
3 (37657), 4 (48181), 5 (43870), 6 (38517), 7 (36294), 8 (44051), 9 
(37618), 10 (36312), 11 (44217), 12 (37662), 13 (638G3), 14 (44321), 

15 (126915), 16 (37390), 17 (38459), 18 (38607), 19 (46076), 20 
(16173), 21 (33159), 22 (44657), 23 (36333), 24 (37389), 25 (37388), . 

26 (37581), 27 (37390). b, Spearheads, points, finger-rests* etc. : 
1 (14405), 2 (63497), 3 (126912), 4 (16125), 5 (37377), 6 (44G99), 
7 ( 14703), 8 (44746), 9 (38529), 10 (48820), 11 (33632), 12 (48471), 
13 (63334), 14 (36343), 15 (37951), 16 (44421), 17 (43461), 18 
( 13461), 19 (18276), 20 (44077), 21 (45171), 22 (43865), 23 (45173), 

24 (63842), 25 (63844), 26 (63843), 27 (33465), 28 (44812), 29 (45170), 

30 (37671), 31 (48293), 32 (33641), 33 (37417), 34 (36097) 148 

LVIII. St Michael man casting a bird spear 151 

LIX. Bird spears: 1 (36139), 2 (33879), 3 (48387), 4 (48354), 5 (36129), 

6 (45426), 7 (33845), 8 (48350), 9 (29852), 10 (33848), 11 (36076) . . . 153 
LX. Bows : 1 (36038), 2 (36033), 3 (33886), 4 (160341), 5 (43679), 6 (36034), 

7 (48374), 8 (33884), 9 (73172), 10 (45736), 11 (36029) 155 

LXI. Hunting and war implements: a, Arrows for large game and for 

war : 1 (126990), 2 (176093 a), 3 (63584), 4 (176093 d), 5 (45433), 6 
(176093 &), 7 (129327), 8.(16415), 9 (36179), 10 (16415), 11 (63584), 
12 (63584 a), b, Arrowpoints, strengthened for bows and 
quivers, and wrist-guards: 1 (48259), 2 (48974), 3 (63374), 4 
(33634), 5 (49065), 6 (48717), 7 (48200), 8 (38530), 9 (63860), 10 
(13:150), 11 (44078), 12 (63331), 13 (63276), 14 (63328), 15 (63326), 

16 (46097), 17 (48446), 18 (63375), 19 (44079), 20 (63755), 21 
(43X72), 22 (63864), 23 (63753), 24 (36300), 25 (44048), 26 (38450), 

27 (24596). c, Bird arrows and quiver: 1 (36140), 2 (176094 a), 

3 (15432), 4 (33833), 5 (33821), 6 (33824), 7 (33827), 8 (176095) .... 158 
LXII. Boxes for arrowpoints and paints: 1 (33015), 2 (44458), 3 (33019), 
1 (44450), 5 (48253), 6 (37557), 7 (38475), 8 (24607), 9 (33024), 10 
(45514), 11 (24347), 12(43489), 13(38336), 14 (37342), 15 (18252), 

16 (37342), 17 (43485) 162 

LXIII. objects used with guns and in hunting: 1 (49187), 2 (33209), 3 
i 11326), 1 (44612), 5 (33210), 6 (44117), 7 (43977), 8 (36323), 9 
(1 1773), 10 (43512), 11 (36407), 12 (13513). 13 (63349), 14 (64197), 
15 (37133), 16 (36486), 17 (43923), 18 (43854), 19 (48134), 20 
(11772), 21 (44966), 22 (38100), 23 (43490), 24 (48450), 25 (37966), 
26 (36490), 27 (37363), 28 (33079), 29 (44963), 30 (44388), 31 
(36026), 32 i 11327), 33 (43480) 164 


Plate LXIV. Hunting helmets, visors, and snow goggles : 1 (44328), 2 (38659), 
3 (44330), 4 (38658), 5 (72906), 6 (32945), 7 (63626), 8 (44256), 

9 (32942), 10 (46137), 11 (63825), 12 (63269), 13 (48996), 14 
(36351), 15 (33136), 16 (37351), 17 (45072), 18 (160337), 19 
(44349), 20 (38718), 21 (38711), 22 (38713) 166 

LXV. Nephrite knife sharpener, dagger, and sheath: 1 (48586), 2, 3 

(176072) 1 70 

LXVI. Cord or' drag handles: 1 (37693), 2 (44537), 3 (48190), 4 (33620), 5 
C63S89), G (38556), 7 (48567), 8 (44885), 9 (45231), 10 (48666), 
11 (45176), 12 (44890), 13 (43970), 14 (33657), 15 (45026), 16 

(37384), 17 (46162), 18 (44191), 19 (44151) 173 

LXVII. lee pick, scoops, and fish spears: 1 (48344), 2 (48343), 3 (33860), 

I (36070), 5 (49051), 6 (49049), 7 (49141), 8 (49142), 9 (36024), 

10 (33894) 175 

LXVIII. Fishing implements: 1 (16303), 2 (44096), 3 (37349), 4 (37348), 5 

(63513), 6 (38377), 7 (33037), 8 (33036), 9 (33376), 10 (37946), 

11 (45115), 12 (44930), 13 (48298), 14 (37253), 15 (38413), 16 
(36378), 17 (37253), 18 (44745), 19 (43852), 20 (63284), 21 
(43401), 22 (63265), 23 (33915), 24 (45402), 25 (33816), 26 
(45441), 27 (33900), 28 (33899), 29 (33038), 30 (44075), 31(33915), 

32 (63513) 176 

LXIX. Fishhooks and sinkers: 1 (46318), 2 (46264), 3 (37413), 4 (44370), 
5 (64199), 6 (45255), 7 (44482), 8 (45261), 9 (49172), 10 (44475), 
11 (49172), 12 (44509), 13 (44953), 14 (44508), 15 (64188), 16 
(63630), 17 (44125), 18 (48305), 19 (44954), 20 (44493), 21 
(63634), 22 (44371), 23 (44480), 24 (44371), 25 (126983), 26 
(44939), 27 (44938), 28 (63512), 29 (126984), 30 (38816), 31 

(126989), 32 (63897), 33 (126989a) '__ 178 

LXX. Objects used in lishing: 1 (45422), 2 (48998), 3 (37347), 4 (48899), 
5- (63377), 6 (63737), 7 (63744), 8 (38808), 9 (38867), 10 (127943), 

II (38498), 12 (49148), 13 (32988), 14 (176092), 15 (38825), 16 
(33138) 184 

LXXI. Setting iish trap through the ice on the Yukon, near Ikogmut.. 187 

LXXII. Net-making implements : 1 (43967), 2 (49183), 3 (63304), 4 (63305), 
5 (43811), 6 (36373), 7 (48539), 8 (44487), 9 (37428), 10 (49004), 
11 (48283), 12 (44202), 13 (44996), 14 (63652), 15 (48832),. 
16 (33176), 17 (33257), 18 (36413), 19 (44385), 20 (44607), 
21 (48722), 22 (48460), 23 (44569), 24 (33267), 25 (38276), 
26 (45110) 190 

LXXIII. Net-making implements: 1 (36681), 2(33050), 3 (37459), 4 (36416), 
5 (36398), 6 (111 13), 7 (48726), 8 (38662), 9 (37927), 10 (37928), 
11 (126988), 12 (63307), 13 (19408), 14 (44787), 15 (49013), 
16 (38211), 17 (48938), 18 (44448), 19 (48286), 20 (63651), 
21 (49000), 22 (33095), 23 (44994), 24 (44573), 25 (44463), 
26 (45014), 27 (48583), 28 (38501) .' 192 

LXXIV. Objects of grass and spruce root: 1 (37603), 2 (37926), 3 (44234), 
1 36190), 5 (38204), 6 (32977), 7 (35962),' 8 (32968), 9 (166949), 
10 (127890), 11 (176077), 12 (176078), 13 (38467), 14 (32964), 

15 (32945) 202 

LXX V. Malemut family with dog sled 205 

LXXVI. Model of sled frame with other objects used in transportation: 
I (63587),2 (63656),3 (43849), 4 (63371), 5 (127004), 6 (44375), 
7 (63361), X (19076), 9 (14736), 10 (63829), 11 (63698), 12 

13857), 13 l 18725), II (16251), 15 (49146), 16 (48104) 208 

LXX VII. Model of umiak with malting sail. (38882) 217 



ETH ANN. 18 

Platk LX Will 























Model of umiak frame and appurtenances of umiak and kaiak 
digging: 1 (45284), 2 (48587), 3 (37016), 4 (37672), 5 (49185), 
6 (44143), 7 (37300), 8 (37161), 9(37301), 10 (37001), 11 
(37217), 12 (43538), 13 (35998), 11 (43705), 15 (-14711), 16 
(38281). 17 (24698), 18 (33407), 19 (14980), 20 (44755), 21 
(44531), 22 (36421), 23 (37426), 24 (36424), 25 (37939), 26 
(63665), 27 (33219), 28 (45380), 29 (38277), 30 (36392), 31 
0^86), 32 (44759), 33 (63878), 34 (127014), 35 (46304), 

36 (44758), 37 (48169), 38 (38883) 218 

Kaiaks: 1 Nunivak island (76283), 2 Nunivak island (160345), 
3 St Michael (166932), 4 King island (160326), 5 Cape 

Espenberg ( 129575), 6 Cape Krusenstern (129574) . 220 

Paddles and boat hooks: 1 (33893), 2 (36023), 3 (43347), 1 
(36022 >, 5 (45408), 6 (73169), 7 (36071), 8 (36057), 9 (45406), 

10 (48148) 223 

Storehouses at Ikogmut 245 

Winter view of Razbinsky 247 

Eskimo dwellings: a, House at Plover bay. b, Noatak sum- 
mer lodge 259 

Women of Plover bay, Siberia 260 

Summer camp at Cape Lisburne . '. 263 

Tobacco and snuff boxes and snuff-making implements: 1 
(43797), 2 (38334), 3 (48247), 4 (6580), 5 (36268), 6 (33013), 
7 (36270), 8 (36276), 9 (35956), 10 (36620), 11 (36267), 12 
(48839), 13 (36282), 14 (36281), 15 (36284), 16 (16094), 17 
(37559), 18 (36280), 19 (43824), 20 (37857), 21 (37539), 22 
(36260), 23 (43952), 24 (36274), 25 (44957), 26 (37540), 27 

(1636), 28 (33097), 29 (7074), 30(48737) 270 

Fungus ash boxes and tobacco hags: 1(24744), 2(37907), 3 
( 18255), 4 (61186), 5 (44059), 6 (38665;, 7 (61187), 8 (63721), 9 
(14960), 10(38472), 11 (36249), 12(48559), 13(38661), 11 

(37858) : : 272 

Pipes and pipe mold : 1 (44393), 2 (38785), 3 (63511), 4 (48172), 
5 (38790), 6 (63785), 7 (38788), 8 (45327), 9 (43963), 10 

(32869), 11 (48171), 12 (43999), 13 (48076), 14 (49192) 280 

Ivory pipestems: 1 (7506), 2 (2292), 3 (154073), 4 (2282).... 283 
Snuff tub's: 1 (44471), 2 (36807), 3 (38435), 4 (37498), 5 
(36821), 6 (38039), 7 (38042), 8 (36818), 9 (36817), 10 (30789), 

11 (37316), 12 (35978), 13 (49026), 14 (36825), 15 (37811) 284 

Graveyard at Razbinsky 317 

Eskimo plate armor 330 

Dolls: 1 (44871), 2 (24889), 3 (64209), 4 (37707), 5 (36216), 6 

(38577), 7 (63518), 8 (63378) 342 

Snow knives: 1 (36377;, 2 (38359), 3 (37283), 4 (36578), 5 
(13501), 6 (127407), 7 (43890), 8(127398), 9 (36514), 10 

(36591 ), 1 1 (36568), 12 (37425), 13 (36555) 344 

Masks: 1 (48989), 2 (48985), 3 (33131), 4 (43779) 396 

Masks 1 (33108), 2 (33104) 398 

Mask. (33118) 401 

Masks : ' 1 (49020), 2 ((54242), 3 (38733) 404 

Masks: 1 (61248), 2 (38862), 3(38645), I (33811) 406 

Masks: 1 (64260), 2 (33111), 3 (33105), 4 (33107) 408 

Masks: 1 (33134), 2 (37654) 410 

Masks: 1 (33126), 2 (48913), 3 (37864), 4 (64238) 412 


Plate CIII. Finger masks and maskoids : 1 ( 1621 ), 2 (64258), 3 (37895), 4 (64252), 

5 (64243), 6 (64266) . 414 

CIV. Finger masks: 1 (24746), 2 (38648), 3, 4 (36231) 416 

CV. Finger masks: 1 (38451), 2 (33125), 3 (33121) 418 

CVI. Belts and armlet: 1 (37921), 2 (64221), 3 (176071) 420 

CVII. Objects etched with mythologic figures: a, Spear rest with 
figures of thnnderbirds catching whales. (48169) b, Ivory 
pipes to m with etched figures of the man-worm and the 

thunderbird. (151075) 446 

Figure 1. Scheme of color on masks and mask-like objects, grave boxes, and 

totem markings 26 

2. Man's hood from Konigunugumut. (38657) 32 

3. Fox-skin rap 33 

4. Man's hood of reindeer and marmot skin and mink fur. (37903). .. 33 

5. Man's wolf-head summer hood from Point Hope. (64270) 34 

6. Ear-flaps. (37398) ." 37 

7. Fish-skin clothing bags: 1 (37631), 2 (37401) 43 

8. Clothing bag of sealskin. (48099) 44 

9. King island man with labrets of lignite 47 

10. Kotzebue sound Malemut men and women 49 

11. Tattooing on women, (a, South of Yukon mouth; b, East cape, 

Siberia ; c, Head of Kotzebue sound ) 50 

12. Tattooing on a St Lawrence island girl . . . , 50 

13. Tattooing on a woman of St. Lawrence island . 51 

14. Tattooing on a woman's arm, East cape, Siberia 51 

15. Circular forms of tattooing. . . .*r 52 

16. Hair combs: 1 (36374), 2 (48260), 3 (126985), 4 (45484), 5 (44765), 

6 (63722) 57 

17. Ivory belt fastener. (44523) 61 

18. Lamp from Point Barrow '.. 63 

19. Ivory carving representing a lamp and stand 63 

20. MarroV spoon. (7519) 69 

21. Snow beaters: 1 ^48995), 2 (49175), 3 (48161), 4 (44998), 5 (48162).... 77 

22. Snow shovels: 1 (36973), 2 (49143) 78 

23. Mallets: 1 (48999), 2 (48909), 3 (48885) 79 

21. Wood chisels: 1 (43737), 2 (36397) 87 

25. Knife sharpeners: 1 (43858), 2 (33047), 3 (46109),4 (63529), 5 (43817). 90 

26. Flint flakers: 1 (63786), 2 (61153), 3 (37600), 4 (37615), 5 (48554) 91 

27. Wooden trinket box. (35955) 96 

28. Trinket box. (19075) 98 

29. Boot-sole creaser. (7521) 108 

30. Sinew twisters. (44688) Ill 

31. Sinew spinner from St Lawrence island 112 

32. Stretched sealskin 116 

:;:;. Method of folding sealskin 117 

34. Model of a deer snare. (48208) 119 

35. Etching on ivory showing deer snares. (7521) 120 

36. Gaihe spits. (38488) 121 

:i". Fox or wolf trap with sinew spring. (7510) 122 

38. Marmot trap. (33146) .* 125 

39. Sealskin float. (129381, old number 18330) Ill 

40. Cord attaeher. (750K) 144 

11. Cord attaeher, obverse and reverse. (7509) L45 

42. Spearpoints for birds and fish: 1 (38499), 2 (38783), 3 (11571), 4 

(13361), 5 (126916), 6 (63333), 7 (45519), 8 (15737) 150 

16 ILLUSTRATIONS [eth.ann.18 

Figure43. Throwing sticks: 1 (49001), 2 (38(570). 3 (33897), 4 (36013), 5 (21355), 

6 (45396), 7 (49002), 8 (168581), 9 (166946), 10 (15644), 11 (36018).. .. 154 

44. Fish arrows: 1 (160341), 2 (43680), 3 (49044), 4 (48340), 5 (48338), 6 

(63578), 7 (48341), 8 (49037), 9 (33858), 10 (36161) 160 

45. Ivory ornaments for hunting helmets: 1 (37419), 2 (38325), 3 (36477), 

4 (49014), 5 (32954), 6 (36428), 7 (36408), 8 (43808) 169 

46. Cord handle of ivory. (7517) 172 

47. Tomcod fishing through sea ice at St Michael 174 

48. Grayling hook. (7515) 180 

49. Seining on Kotzebue sound 1*6 

50. Mesh of dip-net made of sinew. (48923) : 187 

51. Mesh of dip-net made of willow bark. (48925) 187 

52. Mesh, float, and sinker of herring seine. (33871) 188 

53. Herring seine with stretcher at one end and with float and sinker. 

(43353) r 189 

54. Sealskin-cord herring seine with stone sinker. (176090) 189 

55. Wooden net float, (63505) .' 190 

56. Ivory marlinspike. (16143) 193 

57. Marlinspike with bone point. (33100) 193 

58. Wooden paint box. (38338) 200 

59. Wooden paint box.. (35954) 200 

60. Clay pot from Hotham inlet r. 202 

61. ICaviak hunter with hand sled. 207 

62. Sled used on the Siberian shore of Bering strait. (176084) 208 

63. Snowshoes from Norton bay. (45400) 212 

64. Snowshoe from Cape Darby. (48092) 213 

65. Snowshoe from Icy cape. (63604) 213 

66. Snowshoe from St Lawrence island. (63236) 214 

67. Ice staff. (45424) 215 

68. Ice staff. (73178) 215 

69. Ice creepers: 1 and la (63881), 2 (46260), 3 (44254), 4(126982), 5 

(63514) 216 

70. Forms of umiak paddles: a, from Kotzebue sound: b, from Point 

Hope 224 

71. Kaiak paddles from Point Barrow and King island: 1 (89246), 2 

(160326) 225 

72. Ivory spear guard for kaiak. (176086 a) 227 

73. Ivory spear guard for kaiak. (176086 b) 227 

74. Plan of house at St Michael 242 

75. Storehouse at St Michael 243 

76. Kashini at St Michael 246 

77. Section of kashini at St Michael 247 

78. Section of kashini at Kushunuk 250 

79. Carved lamp support 252 

80. Section of house at Ignituk 253 

81. Section of house at Ignituk 253 

82. Section of house at Cape Nome 254 

83. Ground plan of house at Cape Nome 254 

x 1 . Walrus skin summer house on King island 256 

85. Eskimo village at East cape, Siberia 257 

86. 1 louse frame of whale ribs and jawbone 259 

87. Section of house on St Lawrence island 260 

88. Slimmer cam]) at Hotham inlet 260 

89. Frame for summer lodge, Hotham inlet 261 

90. Arrangement of summer camp at Hotham inlet 262 



Figure 91. Summer lodge at Cape Thompson 262 

92. Sites of ancient villages at Cape Wankarem, Siberia ! 265 

93. Fungus used for making ashes to mix with tobacco. (43366) 271 

94. Pipe from Kotzebue sound. (48133) 281 

95. Pipe from Cape Prince of Wales. (7516) 284 

96. Respirator (front view). (38850) 288 

97. Lancet pointed with nephrite. (38797) 310 

98. Backscratcher. (45107) 310 

99. Position in which the dead are buried at St Michael 311 

100. Method of disposing of the dead at St Michael 313 

101. Position of burial of the dead on the lower Yukon 314 

102. Grave boxes, Yukon delta 315 

103. Burial box at Kazbinsky 316 

104. Memorial images at Cape Vancouver 317 

105. Monument board at a Big lake grave 319 

106. Grave box at Cape Nome 320 

107. Grave on St Lawrence island 321 

108. Arrowpoint showing wolf totem signs. (43689) 322 

109. Spearhead representing a wolf. (38442) 323 

110. Spearhead representing a wolf. (43751) 323 

111. Spearhead representing an otter. (43750) 323 

112. Spearhead representing an ermine. (36080 ) 323 

113. Gerfalcon totems on bow and seal spear 324 

114. Simple forms of the raven totem 324 

115. Raven totem tattooing on a Plover bay boy •. 325 

116. Raven totems on smoke-hole cover 325 

117. Wolf totem signs on a storehouse door 325 

US. Tobacco board with bear and loach signs. (48922) 326 

119. Figures on a grave box 326 

120. Boy with toy sled, St Lawrence island 331 

121. Dart. (45475) 334 

122. Top from Cape Prince of Wales. (43371) 341 

123. Toy woodpecker. (33798) 341 

124. Toy mouse. (48912) 342 

125. Toy representing a murre swimming. (63478) 342 

126. Clay doll. (48735) 342 

127. Wooden doll. (38345) 343 

128. Doll. (38351) 343 

129. Wooden doll. (37878) 344 

130. Mechanical doll. (63814) 344 

131. Toy bear with dog harness. (63614) 345 

132. Toy dogs and sled. (63387) 345 

133. Toy bear. (63867) 346 

134. Toy kaiak from St Lawrence island. (63449) 346 

135. Ivory image of man and bear. (37750) 346 

136. Drum handle. (63797) 351 

137. Drum handle. (33308) 351 

138. Ivory baton for beating time on a stick. (452S2) 352 

139. Wand used in asking festival. (33804) 359 

1 10. Plan of kashiiu during mortuary ceremony 366 

111. Maskoid representing a seal-head with rising air bubbles. (33115). 414 

142. Eagle-feather wand used in dances. (49061) 414 

143. Eagle-feather wand used in dances. (45446) 415 

144. Armlet worn during dances. (45336) 416 

1 15. Loonskin fillet worn in dances. ( 19079) 417 

18 ETII 2 

18 ILLUSTRATIONS [eth.ann.18 


Figure 146. Reindeer-skin fillet. (36195) 417 

147. Woman with ermine fillet and eagle-feather wands 418 

118. Wristlet from Ikogmnt. (36198) 419 

149. Armlet worn in dances. (48695) 420 

150. Fet ich from a Malemut kaiak 436 

151. Graphite fetich used in right-whale fishing. (48384) 439 

152. Whale fetich of wood. (64220) 440 

153. Shaman's doll fetich. (37372) 411 

154. Drawing of a composite animal in a wooden tray. (38679) 444 

155. Drawing of the pal-rai-yuk in a wooden tray. (45494) 444 

156. Drawing of the pdl-rai-yuk on an umiak. (160261) 445 

157. Ivory carving of a composite animal. (44143) 446 

158. Ivory carving representing the man-worm. (43550) 446 

159. Ivory carving of a mythic animal. (7518) 447 

160. Ivory drag handle representing a composite animal. (7511) 447 

161. Ivory carving of a mermaid-like creature. (7520) 447 

162. Ivory float handle with mermaid-like figure. (7514) 448 

163. Carving representing a mermaid-like creature. (36336) 448 

164. Ivory carving showing the face of a walrus inua. (43561) 448 

165. Drawing of a mythic creature in a wooden tray. (38642) 448 


















By Edward William Nelson 


The collections and observations on which the present work is based 
were obtained by the writer during a residence of between four and five 
years in northern Alaska. The fur-trading station of St Michael, situ- 
ated about 65 miles north of the Yukon 'delta and some 200 miles south- 
ward from Bering strait, was my headquarters during the greater period 
of my residence in that region. 

On June 17, 1877, 1 reached St Michael and remained there until the 
last of June, 1881, except during the time consumed by a number of 
excursions to various parts of the surrounding country. Owing to the 
fact that my official work was that of procuring an unbroken series of 
meteorological observations, whatever I did in other branches of science 
had to be accomplished in odd moments or during the short periods 
when the agents of the Alaska Commercial Company kindly relieved 
me of my duties by making the necessary observations. 

During the first year I explored the district lying immediately about 
St Michael. The next year my investigations were extended over a 
wider field, aud on the 1st of December, 1878, I left St Michael in com- 
pany with Charles Petersen, a fur trader, each of us having a sledge 
and team of eight dogs. We traveled southward along the coast to the 
mouth of the Yukon, and thence up that stream to Andreivsky, which 
was Petersen's station and the second trading post from the sea. From 
this point we proceeded south westward across the upper end of the 
Yukon delta, passing the eastern base of the Kusilvak mountains and 
reaching the seaeoast just south of Cape Romanzof at a previously 
unknown shallow bay. From this point we proceeded southward, 
keeping along or near the coast until we reached Cape Vancouver, 
opposite Xunivak island. The second day beyond this point, Peter- • 
sen, who had accompanied me thus far, said the weather was too bad 
to continue the journey and he therefore turned back. 

Prom the last-mentioned point I proceeded, accompanied by an 
Eskimo, to the mouth of Kuskokwim river. After traveling some dis- 
anee up its coarse we turned back toward the Yukon, which we reached 
at a point about a hundred miles above Andreivsky. Turning up the 
river the journey was continued to Paimut village, the last Eskimo 
settlement on the Yukon. At Paimut I turned and retraced my steps 
down the river and thence along the coast back to St Michael. 



This expedition completed a very successful reconnoissance of a 
region previously almost completely unknown as regards its geographic 
and ethnologic features. A very fine series of ethnologic specimens 
was obtained and many interesting notes on the people were recorded; 
some of their curious winter festivals were witnessed, and several vocab- 
ularies were procured. 

On November 9, 1880, in company with a fur trader and two Eski- 
mo. I again left St Michael on a sledge expedition. We proceeded 
up the coast of Norton sound to the head of Norton bay, where we 
remained for some days. Thence we traveled along the coastline past 
Golofnin bay to Sledge island, south of Bering strait. Owing to the 
fact that the people of this district were on the point of starvation our 
farther advance was prevented aud I was forced to give up my contem- 
plated trip to Cape Prince of Wales and the islands of the strait at 
this time. We turned back from Sledge island and reached St Michael 
on April 3, after an extremely rough journey; but the series of notes 
and ethnologic specimens obtained on this reconnoissance are exten- 
sive and valuable. 

On November 10, 1880, in company with another fur trader, I left St 
Michael and crossed the coast mountains to the head of Auvik river, 
down which we traveled to its junction with the Yukon. At this point 
is located the fur- trading station of Anvik, which was in charge of 
my companion. Bad weather delayed us at this point for some time, 
but we finally set out, traveling up the Yukon, crossing Shageluk 
island, exploring the country to the head of lunoko river, and return- 
ing thence to Anvik. From the latter place I descended the Yukon to 
its mouth and went back to St Michael along the coast. On the way 
down the river I stopped at Razbinsky aud witnessed one of the great 
Eskimo festivals in commemoration of the dead. 

As was the case in all my sledge journeys, the main object in view 
was to obtain as large a series of ethnologic specimens and notes on 
the character and customs of the people as was possible. Unfortu- 
nately my limited time on these trips prevented any extended inves- 
tigation into the customs and beliefs of the people, but the series of 
specimens obtained is unsurpassed in richness and variety. 

At the close of June, 1881, the United States revenue steamer Corwin 
called at St Michael on her way north in search of the missing steamer 
Jeannette. By the courtesy of the Secretary of the Treasury, Captain 
C. L. Hooper was directed to take me on board as naturalist of the 
expedition. During the rest of the season 1 was the guest of Captain 
Hooper and received many favors at his hands. 

We left St Michael and sailed to St Lawrence island, where the Cap- 
tain had been instructed to land me in order that 1 might investigate 
the villages which had been depopulated by famine and disease during 
the two preceding winters. The surf was too heavy on the occasion of 
this visit to risk landing at the desired points, so we passed on to Plover 
bay, on the Siberian coast. Thence we coasted the shore of Siberia to 

nelson] SCOPE OF THE WORK 21 

Xorth cape, beyond Bering strait, taking on board a sledge party 
which had been left there early in the season. We then returned to St 
Lawrence island, where a landing was effected and a fine series of valu- 
able specimens obtained, after which we departed for St Michael 
where the collections were transferred to the Alaska Commercial Com- 
pany's steamer for shipment to San Francisco, and the Gorwin once 
more returned to the Arctic. During the remainder of the season we 
visited all of the Arctic coast of Alaska from Bering strait to Point 
Barrow, including Kotzebue sound. 

The ethnologic collection obtained during my residence in the north 
numbers about ten thousand specimens, which are deposited in the 
United States National Museum, under the auspices of which my work 
in Alaska was done. With the exception of a comparatively small 
number of specimens obtained among the Athapascan tribes of the 
lower Yukon and among the Chukchi of eastern Siberia, the entire 
collection was obtained among the Eskimo. 

Since my return from Alaska Mr John Murdoch has reported on the 
collection and observations^ made by the International Polar Expedi- 
tion at Point Barrow. 1 

Although my collections cover many of the objects found along the 
northern coast, I have been more explicit in describing those from 
other regions visited by me rather than to duplicate the work of Mr 
Murdoch. The preparation of the present work has been delayed from 
various unavoidable causes, but despite the length of time which has 
elapsed since my observations were made, but little has appeared 
regarding the customs of the Eskimo in the region visited by me. 
This being the case, the data collected at a time when the life of the 
majority of the natives had not been so greatly modified by intercourse 
with white men as at present, are of particular value. Since then the 
introduction of missionary schools and the gold mining excitement 
have resulted in greatly changing the status of many of the people, 
and as a natural consequence their old customs and beliefs are rapidly 
falling into disuse or are becoming greatly modified. 

In this work I have confined myself to recording the information 
obtained and have made no attempt to elaborate any of the matter by 
generalizations. However imperfect iny observations were in many 
cases, I trust the information gained will serve as a basis for fuller 
investigation of a very interesting field. I was placed under great 
indebtedness for favors received from the Alaska Commercial Company 
and its officers at St Michael during my residence at that point. 
Through the cordial Assistance of Mr Rudolph Neumann and the late 
M. Lorenz, who volunteered to carry on my meteorological observa- 
tions during periods of absence from St Michael, 1 was enabled to 
accomplish much work that would have been impracticable without 
such aid. I am also indebted to Mr Neumann for several of the tales 
from St Michael. 

1 Ninth Annua] Report <>r the Bureau of Ethnology, L881 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

The fur traders, one and all, furthered my work with voluntary 
assistance. To Messrs McQuesten, Petersen, Fredericks, and Will- 
iams I owe many favors. I am particularly grateful to the late Pro- 
fessor Baird for the opportunity to accomplish the field work which 
resulted in the accumulation of the material on which the present 
report is based. I have also to extend to the authorities of the 
National Museum my appreciation of their courtesy in placing the 
entire Alaskan ethnological collection at my disposal during the prep- 
aration of this report, and for other favors. To Professor Otis T. 
Mason and Dv Walter Hough, of the United States National Museum, 
I am under special obligations for their unfailing courtesy and cordial 
assistance during the preparation of this work. I wish also to express 
my sense of obligation to Mr Wells M. Sawyer, illustrator of the Bureau 
of American Ethnology, for many suggestions and other favors while 
arranging the illustrations. 


The following alphabet is used in writing all Eskimo names of places, 
etc, in this memoir : 

a as a in father. 

a as a in what. 

a as a in hat. 

a as mv in law. 

ai as ai in aisle. 

au as ow in how. 

b as & in blab. 

ch as ch in church. 

d as d in dread. 

dj asj in judge. 

e as'e in they. 

e as e in then. 

f as /in fife. 

g as g iu get. 

g' an aspirated g. 

gh a harshly aspirated g. 

h as h iu ha. 

h' a soft aspiration. 

hi a sound formed by placing the 
tongue in the position assumed at 
the end of the pronunciation of 
/ and then giving an aspirated 
continuation of the sound. 

i as i in pique. 

I as i in pick. 

j as z in azure. 

k as /,' in kick. 

k' a soft aspiration of the /. sound. 

kh a hard palatal prolongation or aspi- 
ration of k. 

The color scheme used in the drawings representing totem marks, 
grave boxes, masks, etc., is shown in figure 1, page 26. 


a nasal sound formed in the roof of 

the mouth by the blending of the 

k iuto the n. 


as I in lull. 


an aspirated /. 


a harsher aspirated 

sound than V. 


as m in mum. 


as n in nun. 


as ng in sing. 


as o in note. 


as o in home, with 

a short pronun- 


as_p in pipe. 


an aspirated p. 


as r in roaring. 


as s in sauce. 


as sh in should. 


as t in touch. 


as tie in little. 


as ts in tsar. 


as u in rule. 
as u in pull. 



as u in but. 


as v in valor. 


as ir in wish. 


the w sound, beginning with an aspi- 



as y in you. 


as z in zone. 



That portion of the western Eskimo described in the present work 
is found, mainly within the limits of the area which I have designated 
elsewhere as the Alaskan-Arctic district. This region includes the 
treeless coast belt, from 3 to 100 miles in width, which extends from 
the peninsula of Alaska northward to Point Barrow, including the 
adjacent islands. The Eskimo penetrate the interior of the country to 
the forested region along the courses of the larger streams. Their 
range into the interior is mainly along Kuskokwim, Yukon, Kowak, and 
Noatak rivers. On all of these streams they are found several hun- 
dred miles from the coast, and at their upper limits are in direct contact 
with the Athapascan or Tinne tribes. In addition to the Eskimo of 
the Alaskan mainland and adjacent islands, within the limits just 
mentioned, I visited also the Eskimo of the neighboring Siberian coast 
from East cape to Plover bay and St Lawrence island. The lives of 
these people adjacent to the Tinne, as well as those of the Siberian 
coast who are in constant contact with the Chukchi, have been some- 
what modified by their surroundings, although in their language and 
customs they are still unmistakably Eskimo. The people of the 
Siberian coast and of St Lawrence island are the most aberrant group 
of Eskimo encountered within the area covered by my work. 

The belt bordering the Alaskan coast of Bering sea belonging to 
this district is mainly low, and much of it consists of broad, marshy 
tracts which are but little above sea level. This is particularly the 
case in the large, roughly triangular r.rea lying between lower Kusko- 
kwim and Yukon rivers. To the northward of this the country is more 
broken or rolling in character, rising gradually in many places to low, 
mountainous masses, several hundred feet in height and coming down 
to the coast at intervals as bald headlands. The islands of Bering 
straits are small and rocky and rise precipitously from the water, as 
docs much of the adjacent Siberian shore. St Lawrence island is large 
and has an undulating surface with rocky headlands at intervals along 
the coast. 

North of Bering strait the Country is generally rolling, with flat 

areas about the head of Kot/ebne sound and north of Icy cape. South 

of the strait the coast country has a mildly arctic climate, but to the 

northward the results of a more rigorous environment appear in both 

plant and animal life. The climate of the Siberian coast is much 

severer than that of the adjacent Alaskan shore. 



Everywhere south of Point Hope a plentiful arctic vegetation is 
found. Although the country is destitute of trees, along the courses 
of streams and in sheltered spots on the southern slopes of hills a more 
or less abundant growth of willows and alders is found. This is the 
case even at the head of Kotzebue sound, directly under the Arctic 
circle. Over a large portion of the low, gently rolling country are beds 
of sphagnum interspersed with various grasses and flowering plants. 
Inland, along the water courses, there occur spruce and white birch in 
addition to the plants which are found nearer the coast. The villages 
of the western Eskimo are located always near the sea or directly along 
the water courses, such situations being necessitated by their depend- 
ence for the greater portion of their subsistence on game and the fish 
obtained from the waters in their vicinity. 

Driftwood is abundant along most parts of the American coast within 
the region discussed in this work, and the food supply also is more 
abundant than is found in most regions inhabited by the eastern 
Eskimo, so that the conditions of life with the Alaskan people are 
much more favorable. The shores of Bering sea north of the Kusko- 
kwim mouth are icebound from early in November until about the end 
of May or early June of each year. North of Bering strait the sea ice 
is present for a somewhat longer period. 

Although the aborigines living along the American coast from Point 
Barrow to Kuskokwim river are not separated by physical barriers, 
they are divided into groups characterized by distinct dialects. 


The Shaktolik people told me that in ancient times, before the Rus- 
sians Came, the Unalit occupied all the coast of Norton sound from Pas- 
tolik northward to a point a little beyond Shaktolik. At that time the 
southern limit of the Malemut was at the head of Norton bay. They 
have since advanced and occupied village after village until now the 
people at Shaktolik and Unalaklit are mainly Malemut or a mixture of 
Malemut and Unalit. They added that since the disappearance of the 
reindeer along the coast the Malemut have become much less numerous 
than formerly. 

Various Russians and others, who were living in that region in 1872 
and 1873, informed me that at that time there were about two hundred 
people living in the village of Kigiktauik, while in 1881 I found only 
about twelve or fourteen. At the time first named the mountains bor- 
dering the coast in that neighborhood swarmed with reindeer, and in 
addition to the Unalit many Malemut had congregated there to take 
advantage of the hunting. 

During November, 1880, I found a family of Malemut living in a 
miserable hut on the upper part of Anvik river. As stated else- 
where, these people have become spread over a wide region. About 
the middle of March, 1880, between Cape Nome and Sledge island, I 


found a village occupied by a mixture of people from King island in 
Bering strait, Sledge island, and others from different parts of Kaviak 
peninsula. These people had united there and were living peaceably 
together in order to fish for crabs and tomcods and to hunt for seals, 
as the supply of food had become exhausted at their homes. 

There are few places among the different divisions of the people living 
between Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers where a sharp demarkation is 
found in the language as one passes from village to village. In every 
village in this region they have had friendly intercourse with one 
another for many years, and intermarriage has constantly taken place. 
They visit each other during their festivals, and their hunting and 
fishing grounds meet. All of these causes have aided, since the ces- 
sation of the ancient warfare which served to keep them separated, in 
increasing the intercourse between them and have had a tendency to 
break down the sharp distinctions that existed in their dialects. The 
language used in this region, south of the Yukon mouth, is closely 
related to that of the Unalit along the shore of Norton pound north of 
the Yukon. 

The greatest distinctions in language appeared to be in the curious 
modification of the sounds of the vowels, these being lengthened or 
shortened in a different manner, thus causing the pronunciation to be 
differently intoned in the two districts. The Nunivak island people 
and those living at Cape Vancouver, however, appear to speak a lan- 
guage quite sharply divided from that of their neighbors. 

As it is, one of the natives from any portion of the district south of 
the Yukon mouth, except on Nunivak island or Cape Vancouver, can 
readily make himself understood when visiting villages of the lower 
Yrukon or among the Unalit of Norton sound. The distinction between 
the Unalit and Kaviagmut Eskimo, or the Unalit and the Malemut, is 
considerable, and people speaking these tongues do not readily com- 
municate at once, although it takes but a short time for them to learn 
to talk with one another. The dialect of the people of Point Hope 
appears to differ but slightly from that used at the head of Kotzebue 
sound. There is such a general resemblance between the dialects 
spoken by the Eskimo of the Alaskan mainland that a person belonging 
to one district very rjuickly learns to understand and speak other dia- 
lects. My Unalit interpreter from St Michael accompanied me on the 
Corn-in, and when at Plover bay, on the eastern coast of Siberia, man- 
aged to understand a considerable portion of what the people of that 
point said. He had great difficulty, however, in comprehending the 
language of the St Lawrence islanders, and in fact could understand 
but lew words spoken by them. Both at East ('ape and at Plover bay, 
on the Siberian coast, there were many words that 1 could understand 
from my knowledge of the Unalit tongue gained at St Michael. The 
people of st Lawrence island and Plover bay are closely related and 
the dialects spoken by them are very similar, so that they have do diffi- 
culty in communicating with each other. 



ETH. ANN. li 

The Point Barrow Eskimo occupy the coast from Cape Lisburne to 
Point Barrow. The Malemut inhabit the country from Point Hope 
around the shores of Kotzebue sound to beyond Cape Espenberg, and 
thence south to Onaktolik river. Prom this point southward to the 

Yukon month, including' St Michael island, are the Unalit or Unalig- 
mut. The people of Cape Prince of Wales, Port Clarence, and King 
island are the Kinugumut. The people occupying the coast from Port 
Clarence and around to Cape Nome, Golofnin bay, and Nubviukhchug- 
alnk, including the interior of the peninsula back from the coast country 
as well as Sledge (Aziak) island, are Kaviagmut. 

The people of the Diomede islands and of East cape, Siberia, are a 
group of Eskimo of whom I failed to obtain a special designation. 

South of this point the Eskimo of Plover bay and the neighboring 
coast form another group. The people of St Lawrence island form 
still another group, and of these also I failed to record any special 

The people of the lower Yukon, from Paimut down to the vicinity of 
Pastolik, including the Yukon delta, are the Ikogmut. The Magemut 
are the people occupying the low, marsjiy country back from the lower 
Yukon, between it and the Kuskokwim, extending from a line just 
back of the Kuskokwim northwesterly to the coast between Cape 
Eomanzof and the Kusilvak branch of the Yukon mouth. 

The Nunivagmut are the people of Nunivak island and the main- 
land at Cape Vancouver. 

The Kaialigamut are the people occupying the coast northward from 
Cape Vancouver to Kushunuk, Kaialigamut, and the adjacent villages. 
The Kuskokwagmut are the people occupying the villages aloug the 
lower Kuskokwim and the adjacent country to the north of that point 
to a line where begin the other divisions already named. 


Fig. 1 — Schemo of color on masks and mask-like objects, grave boxes, and totem markings. 


The Eskimo from Bering strait to the lower Yukon are fairly well- 
built people, averaging among the men about 5 feet 2 or 3 inches in 
height. The Yukon Eskimo and those living southward from that 
river to the Kuskokwim are, as a rule, shorter and more squarely built. 
The Kuskokwim people arc darker of complexion than those to the 
northward, and have rounder features. The men commonly have a 
considerable growth of hair on their faces, becoming at times a thin 







beard two or three inches in length, with a well-developed mustache 
(plates IV, V). No such development of beard was seen elsewhere in 
the territory visited. 

The people in the coast region between the mouths of the Kuskokwim 
and the Yukon have peculiarly high cheek bones and sharp chins, which 
unite to give their faces a curiously pointed, triangular appearance. 
At the village of Kaialigamut I was impressed by the strong develop- 
ment of the superciliary ridge. From a point almost directly over the 
pupil of the eye, and extending thence inward to the median line of 
the forehead, is a strong, bony ridge, causing the brow to stand out 
sharply. From the outer edge of this the sknll appears as though 
beveled away to the ears, giving the temporal area a considerable 
enlargement beyond that usually shown. This curious development of 
the sknll is rendered still more striking by the fact that the bridge 
of the nose is low, as usual among these people, so that the shelf-like 
projection of the brow stands out in strong relief. It is most strongly 
marked among the men, and appears to be characteristic at this place. 
Elsewhere in this district it was noted only rarely here and there. 

All of the people in the district about Capes A ancouver and Roman- 
zof, and thence to the Yukon mouth, are of unusually light complexion. 
Some of the women have a pale, slightly yellowish color, with pink 
cheeks, differing but little in complexion from that of a sallow woman 
of Caucasian blood. This light complexionis so exceptionally striking 
that wherever they travel these people are readily distinguished from 
other Eskimo 5 and before I visited their territory I had learned to know 
them by their complexion whenever they came to St Michael. 

The people of the district just mentioned are all very short and 
squarely built. Inland from Cape Vancouver lies the flat, marshy coun- 
try about Big lake, which is situated between the Kuskokwim and the 
Yukon. It is a well-populated district, and its inhabitants differ from 
those near the coast at the capes referred to in being taller, more 
slender, and having more squarely cut features. They also differ strik- 
ingly from any other Eskimo with whom I came in contact, except those 
on Kowak river, in having the bridge of the nose well developed and 
at times sufficiently prominent to suggest the aquiline nose of our 
southern Indian tribes. 

The Eskimo of the Diomede islands in Bering strait, as well as those 
of Easl cape and Mechigme and Plover bays on the Siberian coast, and 
of St Lawrence island, arc tall, strongly built people, and are generally 
similar in their physical features (plates xr, xn). These are characterized 
by the unusual heaviness of tin; lower part of the lace, due to the very 
square and massive lower jaw, which, combined with broad, high cheek 
bones ami flattened nose, produces a wide. Hat face. These features are 
frequently accompanied with a low, retreating forehead, producing a 
decidedly repulsive physiognomy. The bridge of the nose is so low 
and the cheek bones so heavy that a profile view will frequently show 


only the tip of the person's nose, tlie eyes and upper portion of the 
nose being completely hidden by the prominent outline of the cheek. 
Their eyes are less oblique than is common among the people living 
southward from the Yukon mouth. Among the people at the north- 
western end of St Lawrence island there is a greater range of physiog- 
nomy than was noted at any other of the Asiatic localities. 

The Point Hope people on the American coast have heavy jaws and 
well-developed superciliary ridges. At Point Barrow the men are 
remarkable for the irregularity of their features, amounting to a posi- 
tive degree of ugliness, which is increased and rendered specially 
promiueut by the expression produced by the short, tightly drawn 
upper lip, the projecting lower lip, and the small beady eyes. The 
women and children of this place are in curious contrast, having rather 
pleasant features of the usual type. 

The Eskimo from upper Kowak and ^Noatak rivers, who were met 
at the summer camp on llotham inlet, are notable for the fact that a 
considerable number of them have hook noses and nearly all have a 
cast of countenance very similar to that of the Yukon Tinne. They 
are a larger and more robustly built people than these Indians, how- 
ever, and speak the Eskimo language. They wear labrets, practice 
the tonsure, and claim to be Eskimo. At the same time they wear 
bead-ornamented hunting shirts, round caps, and tanned deerskin robes, 
and use conical lodges like those of the adjacent Tinne tribes. Among 
them was seen one man having a mop of coarse curly hair, almost 
negroid in character. The same feature was observed in a number of 
men and women on the Siberian coast between East cape and Plover 
bay. This latter is undoubtedly the result of the Chukchi-Eskimo 
mixture, and in the case of the man seen at Hotham inlet the same 
result had been brought about by the Eskimo-Indian combination. 
Among the Eskimo south of Bering strait, on the American coast, not 
a single instance of this kind was observed. The age of the individ- 
uals having this curly hair renders it quite improbable that it came 
from an admixture of blood with foreign voyagers, since some of them 
must have been born at a time when vessels were extremely rare along 
these shores. As a further argument against this curly hair having 
come from white men, I may add that I saw no trace of it among a 
number of people having partly Caucasian blood. As a general thing, 
the Eskimo of the region described have small hands and feet and the 
features are oval in outline, rather flat, and with slightly oblique eyes. 

Children and young girls have round faces and often are very pleasant 
and attractive in feature, the angular race characteristics becoming 
prominent after the individuals approach manhood. The women age 
rapidly, and only a very small proportion of the people live to an 
advanced age. 

The Malemut and the people of Kaviak peninsula, including those 
of the islands in Bering strait, are tall, active, and remarkably well 









built. Among them it is common to see men from 5 feet 10 inches to 
6 feet tall and of proportionate build. I should judge the average 
among them to be nearly or quite equal in height to the whites. 

Among the coast Eskimo, as a rule, the legs are short and i>oorly 
developed, while the body is long, with disproportionately developed 
dorsal and lumbar muscles, due to so much of their life being passed 
in the kaiak. 

The Eskimo of the Big lake district, south of the Yukon, and from 
the Kaviak peninsula, as well as the Malemut about the head of Kot- 
zebue sound, are, on the contrary, very finely proportioned and athletic 
men, who can not be equaled among the Indians of the Yukon region. 
This fine physical development is attributable to the fact that these 
people are so located that their hunting is largely on open tundra or in 
the mountains, thus producing a more symmetric development than is 
possible among those whose lives are passed mainly in the kaiak. 

There were a number of halfblood children among the Eskimo, 
resulting from the intercourse with people from vessels and others, 
who generally show their Caucasian blood by large, finely shaped, and 
often remarkably beautiful brown eyes. The number of these mixed 
bloods was not very great. 

As a race the Eskimo are very hardy and insensible to cold. While 
the Gortvin was at anchor in Hotham inlet during the fall of 1881, 1 
found a Malemut woman with two little girls, one about two years and 
the other five years of age, lying fast asleep on the deck of the vessel 
clothed only in their ordinary garments. A very raw wind was blow- 
ing at the time, and it was difficult for us to keep warm even while 
moving about in heavy overcoats. 

While I was at the head of Norton sound during February, when 
the temperature stood at minus 10° Fahrenheit, a boy 10 years of age, 
with a sled and three dogs, was sent back several miles along the 
previous day's trail to recover a pair of lost suowshoes. He started 
off alone and returned a few hours later with the suowshoes, his cheeks 
glowing red from the cold, but without other indication of the effect 
of the temperature. 

The men lead a hard and perilous life in the districts bordering the 
sea, where much of the hunting is done in kaiaks. In spring they go 
long distances offshore, and are sometimes cast adrift on the moving 
ice, requiring the greatest effort to return to the land. In a number 
of instances that came to my notice men were forced to spend one or 
two days lighting their way back to shore in their kaiaks, after having 
been driven seaward by a strong wind. 

In addition, the constant wetting and exposure throughout the entire 
year helps gradually to undermine the strength of the natives: as a 
result, consumption and rheumatic complaints are common, and but 
few live to an advanced age. Families rarely have more than two or 
three children, and it is not uncommon for them to have none. 




The garments of the wester i Eskimo are similar in general plan to 
those worn by their relatives farther eastward, but vary locally in pat- 
tern and style of ornamentation. The upper part of the body of both 
men and women*is covered with a frock-like garment put on over the 
head, and in the greater part of. the area visited these garments are 
provided with a hood. In addition, both men and women wear trousers. 
Those of the men are made to reach from the hip to the ankle, the feet 
being clothed with socks of deerskin or grass, over which skin boots 
are drawn. The lower garments of the women are combined boots and 
trousers reaching to the waist. Over the feet are sometimes drawn 
skin boots, but frequently a sole of oil-tanned sealskin is attached 
directly to the trousers. 

On the Diomede islands, along the eastern shore of the Chukchi 
peninsula, and on St Lawrence island the women wear a curious garment 
having a loose waist, flowing sleeves, and very baggy trousers reaching 
to the ankles. They put this on by thrusting the head and feet into a 
slit-like opening in the back, which is then laced up. The feet and 
lower part of the legs are then encased in skin boots tied about the 
ankles. Usually these combined garments are loosely made, without 
hoods, and are opened broadly at the neck, with a narrow trimming of 
wolverine or other fur about the border. They are worn usually with 
the hair inside, and the smooth outer surface becomes greasy and 
begrimed so that they present a curious appearance. Small children 
dressed in these garments waddle about and appear to move with the 
greatest difficulty. Very young children on the coast named are placed 
in these combination garments with the ends of the sleeves and legs 
sewed up, so that nothing but the face of the child can be seen. 

In addition the women of this region wear a frock-like outer garment 
reaching down to midway between the waist and knee and provided 
with a hood. The hood is trimmed with wolverine skin or other fur, 
the long hairs projecting halo-like about the face. In front is a broad 
bib-like flap, usually made from the short-hair skin taken from the 
reindeer's legs, which hangs down over the breast. Sometimes, how- 
ever, these (laps are replaced by a long, narrow gore of white reindeer 
skin, sewed over the shoulder on each side of the neck and extending 
down the front. Very little effort is made to ornament the garments 
among any of the people save those of St Lawrence island, where they 
an* ornamented with tassels made from strips of fur taken from the 
hair-seal pup and dyed a reddish brown. Hows of the crests and horny 
bill sheaths from the crested auklet are also sewed along the seams. 
Similar ornamentation was observed in lesser degree along the Siberian 

r4tfe ;. 










The illustration (plate XIV) from a photograph taken of a party of 
women and children from East Cape, Siberia, gives an idea of the gar- 
ments described. The woman on the left wears one of the combination 
garments with the fur side out, the one on the right having the gar- 
ment turned with fur inward, and the two central figures wear the frock 
in addition. 

Most of the garments worn by these people are made from the skins 
of tame reindeer, although those of wild reindeer are used to a limited 
extent. The handsomely mottled coats of the tame deer serve to render 
some of the clothing rather ornamental in appearance. On St Lawrence 
island and the Diomedes the skins of waterfowl are sometimes used 
for making the outer frock-like garment for both men and women of 
the poorer class. Their boots are usually of reindeer skin, generally 
taken from the leg of the animal, with a sole of tanned sealskin. 

Crossing Bering strait to the American shore we find the garments 
for men and women closely alike in general style over a wide area. 
They are practically identical in pattern northward to Point Barrow 
and southward to the Yukon mouth, including King and Sledge islands. 

The garments worn by the men consist of a skin frock, which is put 
on over the head and has a hood variously bordered by strips of skin. 
These borders are made usually of an outer strip of wolfskin with the 
long hairs standing out like a halo, as before described. Just within 
this is sewed another belt or band of skin from the wolverine so that 
the long outer hairs lie back against the wolfskin border, producing a 
pleasing contrast. These halo like borders, when the hood is drawn 
up, surround the face and give a picturesque appearance to the wearer 
(plates iv, xinfr, XYa). The back of the hood is made usually of several 
pieces sewed in such a way as to take the form of the head. A gore 
•usually extends from the top of the shoulders at the base of the hood 
down on each side of the chest, and is generally of white-hair. skin 
from the belly of the reindeer. The sleeves and lower border of this 
garment are fringed with a narrow band of wolf or wolverine skin. 
These garments may be made of the skins of wild or tame reindeer, 
Parry's marmot, muskrats, mink, or waterfowl, such as cormorants, 
anklets, murres, eider ducks, or loons, and in the region southward of 
the Yukon mouth the skins of emperor and white-front geese arc also 
used for this purpose. One such garment is made from the skins of 
scaup ducks, with the hood of Parry's marmot skins, and is bordered 
around the bottom witli a narrow fringe of wolfskin. On the lower 
Yukon very poor people utilize even the skins of salmon for making 
their frocks. 

The trousers of the men extend from the hips to the ankles and are 
ratber awkwardly made. They are fastened about the waist with a 
drawstring in a loop of skin sewed along the border. A variety of 
materials are used, including wild and tame reindeer, sealskin, dogskin, 
and white-bear skin. The trousers made from the skins of reindeer 
are sometimes worn with the hair inward during cold weather or with 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

the hair outward when it is warmer. Of late years these people during 
the summer wear shirts and trousers of calico and drilling obtained 
from the fur traders. Ordinary cotton shirts also are worn by them. 

Beaching the lower Kuskokwiin and adjacent country to the north, 
the men wear frocks similar to those hitherto described, but so long 
that when at full length they reach the ground about the wearer's feet. 
When traveling these frocks are drawn up and belted about the waist 

until the lower border reaches 
only to the knee. They are 
made usually from the skins of 
Parry's marmot or a species of 
whistler found in the mountains 
south of the lower Kuskokwim 
district, and are ornamented 
with the tails of the animals, 
which are set on, fringe-like, 
with each skin hanging all 
about the person. They are 
made generally without hoods 
and the neck is bordered by the 
skin of the Arctic hare or white 
fox, or more commonly by a roll- 
like edge of deerskin with the 
hair on. A gore is set in on 
each side of the neck over the 
chest, or sometimes a single 
broader gore extends down the 
middle in front. The sleeves 
may be bordered by the white- 
hair skin of the reindeer's belly, 
and bands of the same are some- 
times set in around the body 
or near the lower border. In 
place of hoods the wearers of 
these frocks have fur caps with 
ear-laps for tying under the 
chin. Their trousers are sim- 
ilar to those already described. 
On the tundra between the 
Kuskokwim and the lower Yukon there are worn similar, but shorter, 
hoodless frocks. In place of the fur caps described as worn by the 
Kuskokwim people these tundra men wear curious headdresses made 
of various skins. 

One of these (figure 2), from Konigunugumut, is a hood made of the 
skins of Parry's marmot with a border about the face of reindeer skin 
with the hair on. The hood is bordered also along its lower edge by a 

Fui. 2— Alan's hood from Konigumigumut ( T 3 G ). 













* - -»»«*' 







Fig. 3— Fox-skin cap. 

strip, about two inches wide, of reindeer skin and has a narrow band 

extending up from this over the crown. About the lower border, on the 

sides and behind, extends a fringe consisting of narrow strips of rein- 
deer skin, 12 to 15 inches in length, which 

hangs down the back. 
Another variety of hood worn in this district 

is made of a band of deerskin, with the hair 

on, sewed to fit about the brow like a turban 

with the crown of skins of Parry's marmot, or 

of white or blue foxes. When the marmot 

skins are used they are usually sewed in a 

series so as to hang behind like an open sack. 

If the fox skins are used they are sewed so 

that the head of the fox rests on the crown of 

the wearer with the body and tail hanging 

down over the back. These caps are very pic- 
turesque and give the wearer a remarkably 

dignified appearance. 

In the region about Askinuk curious small 

fur caps or hoods are worn, fitting snugly about 

the head and fringed behind by a few little 

tags or strips of skin, but which do not hang 

far down the back like those last described. 

These hoods are made in ornamental patterns from various kinds of 

A hood of reindeer and marmot skin from Askinuk (figure 1) has 

a circular piece of reindeer skin 
set in the middle of the crown ; 
this is surrounded by two strips 
of white reindeer skin taken 
from the leg of the animal with 
the hair clipped. Following 
this is a broader strip of similar 
reindeer skin, alternating with 
a square of dark-hair reindeer- 
skin on the top and marmot 
skins on each side, succeeded 
by another strip of reindeer skin 
and bordered about the face by 
a narrow fringe of mink fur. 
Similar caps were obtained at 
In siiminer the Eskimo of 

Xoatak and Kowak rivers wear bead-ornamented caps similar to those 

of the Thine along the upper Yukon. On the shore of the Arctic at 

Point Hope the specimen represented in figure 5 was obtained. This 
18 eth 3 

Fio. 4 — Man's hood of reindeer and marmot skin and 
mink far (',). 



| Kill. ANN. 18 

is a handsomely made hood fashioned from the skin of a, wolf's head, 
the nose of the animal resting directly over the brow and extending 
back over the head, so that the ears of the animal lie on the nape of 
the wearer's neck. From just back of the nose to a point nearly 
between the ears the skin is slit and an oval piece of skin, tanned with 
the hair off, is set in, and along it are sewed ten parallel, longitudinal 
rows of bine beads. Little strings of red, white, blue, and black beads 

are attached to the 
sides of the head 
from just back of the 
wolf's nose, down 
alongeach side, two- 
thirds of the way to 
the ears. Sewed to 
the front border of 
the hood is a strip of 
long-hair wolfskin, 
and two strings at 
the corners in front 
serve to tie it about 
the wearer's chin. 

From the Yukon 
month northward to 
Point Barrow the 
frocks of the men are 
cut a trifle longer 
behind than in front. 
South of the Yukon 
these garments are 
cut nearly the same 
length all around. 

Many of the Ko- 
wak and Noatak 
men seen at Hotham 
inlet wear hunting 
shirts of tanned 
moose-skin similar 
to those used by the 
Tinne of the inte- 
rior, from whom they were probably obtained. These Eskimo also wear 
robes made from reindeer skin tanned with the hair on. These are 
made to fasten over the shoulders by two cords, and fall behind nearly 
to the ground like a cloak. They are usually bordered with a fringe 
formed by cutting the skin into little strips, and on the inside the 
totem signs of the owners are marked in red paint. 

Prom one of the Diomede islands I obtained the garment illustrated 
in plate XVI, a frock without a hood, made from the skin of a guillemot. 

Fig. ii-Man's wolf-head summer hood from Point Hope (J). 

















Around the back of the neck is a border of black-bear skin with the 
long hair erect. The lower border of the garment is edged with a nar- 
row strip of white-reindeer skin, succeeded by a border of red-bear skin 
with tufts of white-bear fur sewed on all around at short intervals. 

The people on the islands of Bering strait and the adjacent shores 
use a kind of face protector made of a ring of white-bear skin, which is 
drawn on over the head and fitted round the face. These are held in 
place by a narrow band of the same material extending over the top of 
the head; another strip from each side joins the other at the back. 

During summer the men usually wear a light frock made from the 
skins of the marmot, mink, muskrat, fawns of reindeer, or the summer 
reindeer with its light coat of hair. In winter two of these garments 
are frequently worn, and those of the winter deerskin with its heavier 
coat of hair are used in severe weather. 

A man's frock from Cape Vancouver (plate xvn) is made of reindeer- 
fawn skin and has a hood which forms a part of the garment instead of 
being worn separately as is done farther inland. From the shoulders 
hanging down both m front and behind depend broad strips of reindeer 
skin with the fur cut short and having attached to their tips strings of 
white, red, and blue beads from five to six inches in length with narrow 
strips of wolverine fur. From the middle of the hood behind hangs a 
strip of reindeer skin, tipped with wolverine fur. Little tassels of red- 
bear skin are attached to strips of white-deer skin, set in, gore-like, 
over the tops of shoulders. Two sharp-pointed gores of white deer 
skin are set in above the waist. 

The hood has an inner border of arctic-hare skin followed by a strip 
of wolf skin. The lower end of the sleeves is bordered by a band of 
white-deer skin, edged by a narrow border of mink fur, the lower edge 
of the garment being bordered in the same manner. This is one of 
the most ornamental garments of the kind seen in that district. 

The frocks worn by the women of this region are made similar to 
those of the men except that they are cut up a little farther on the sides 
so as to make a more conspicuously pendent flap before and behind. 

From the Yukon mouth northward the women's frocks are much 
more handsomely made, the mottled white skin of the tame reindeer, 
obtained from the Siberian people, affording a good material for the 
production of ornamental patterns. Some of these garments are very 
richly ornamented; they are deeply cut up along each side, so that 
before and behind the skirt hangs in a long, broad, round flap. The 
hoods are bordered by wolverine and wolf skin, and the ends of the 
sleeves and the lower edge of the garment are trimmed with wolf or 
wolverine skin, usually the latter. A typical garment of this kind 
(number 64272), from Cape Prince of Wales, has the hood made of a 
central oval piece exl ending up from the back of the garment as a 
narrow strip which broadens above. The hood is bordered on each 
side by short-hair white reindeer skin which extends to the shoulders 
and then divides and forms a long, narrow gore down the front and 


back of the garment. Between the white skin on the sides and the 
Brown deerskin forming the back or central part of the hood, extends 
a series of five narrow strips of white deerskin with the hair shaved 
close and haying welted into the seams narrow strips of black parch- 
ment-like skin. Two of these welted seams bordering the central one 
have little fcufts of red wool set along at intervals of about one-fourth 
of an inch. Across the shoulders from front to back extend a similar 
series of strips of white deerskin with black welted seams, and the 
lower border of the garment is ornamented with a broader band of the 
same handsome pattern. From the top and back of the shoulders, as 
well [is on the middle of the back, are attached tassel-like strips of 
wolverine 1 skin eight to ten inches in length. 

The frocks of the women of the lower Kuskokwim have the sides cut 
up to a lesser degree than those to the north, and are provided with a 
hood bordered with wolf, wolverine, or other skin with the fur on. Set 
across the body before and behind are bands of white-hair deerskin, 
having narrow welted strips of dark skin in the seams. The sleeves 
and lower edge of the garment are bordered with a band of white-hair 
reindeer skin fringed with wolverine skin. In 'addition, the women's 
frocks of this district have strung along the patterns of white deer- 
skin in front and back little strings of beads an inch or two in length. 
The trousers worn by the women from the lower Kuskokwim to Point 
Barrow are made usually of skin taken from the legs of reindeer, and 
commonly by sewing in alternating strips of different colors to produce 
ornamental patterns. The specimen shown in plate xvin, from the 
head of Norton sound, is a woman's handsomely made frock. The 
body of the garment is of marmot skins, while skins from the crowns 
of the same animal are pieced together on the crown of the hood. 
The skirts/ and ornamental pieces are of white-hair reindeer skin, and 
the trimming is of wolf and wolverine fur. 

The example from Mission, illustrated in plate xix, is made of salmon 
skins tanned and worked with a scraper until they have become pliable. 
Most of the seams are ornamented with bands of brownish dyed fish- 
skin, on the surface of whieh are sewed narrow strips of white parch- 
ment-like skin from the throats of seals. On each shoulder are inserted 
two gore-like pieces of fish-skin dyed brown and having ornamental 
strips of white sewed along them and following their outline. 


fn addition to the upper garments already described the Eskimo 
make waterproof frocks from the intestines of seals. The intestines 
are dried ami slit open, and the long, ribbon-like strips thus formed 
are then sewed together horizontally to form a frock similar in shape 
to those of fur worn by the men, as already described. About the 
sleeves ;i braided sinew cord is inclosed in a turned-down border to 
form ;i drawstring for fastening the garment securely about the wrist, 
in order that the water may not enter. In addition the border of the 




hood about the face is provided with a similar string, the ends of 
which hang down under the chin so that this i>ortion of the garment 
may be drawn tightly for the same purpose. These garments are worn 
over the others during wet weather on shore as well as at sea. Their 
most important use, however, is while the hunters are at sea in kaiaks. 
At such times, when the weather becomes rainy or rough, the hunter 
dons his waterproof frock and the skirt is extended over the rim of 
the manhole in which he sits. A cord provided for the purpose is 
wound around the outside, fastening the border of the skirt down into a 
sunken groove left for the purpose below the rim on the outside of the 
kaiak. When this cord is made fast and the drawstrings about the face 
and sleeves are tightened, the occupant of the kaiak is safe from being 
drenched by the dashing spray, and no water can enter his boat. 

These garments are 
strong and will fre- 
quently withstand the 
pressure of the water 
even when the wearer is 
entirely submerged be- 
neath the combing sea. 
Among the breakers, 
however, they are not to 
be relied on, as the writ- 
er knows from experi- 
ence, the weight of the 
water striking heavily 
from above, tearing 
them and permitting 
the water to enter the 

The seams of these 
waterproofs are fre- 
quently ornamented by 
sewing in seals' bristles 
or the line hair-like feathers of certain waterfowl. About the islands 
in Bering strait and on the bordering Asiatic shore the horny sheaths 
from the base of the mandibles of the crested anklet are sewed along 
the seams of some of these frocks as ornaments. Narrow strips of black, 
parchment Like tanned skin are frequently welted into the seams for 
ornamental purposes, and the lower borders are sometimes narrowly 
fringed with a strip of woolly fur from small hair seals. Garments of 
this kind made for the use of women are cut np on each side to produce 
flaps similar to those of the ordinary frock. 

Y\a. 8— Ear-flapa (',)■ 

1. A i: I LAI'S 

About Chalitmut and the adjacent district on the tundra between 

the Knskokwim and the YnUon, where men's flocks are made without 


the hood, ear-flaps are commonly used. These are made of oval flaps 
of deerskin with the hair side inward and having the base truncated 
and sewed to a narrow band of skin to go around the head. The flaps 
are then tied under the chin by means of strings. The tanned outer 
surface of these tlaps has various ornamental patterns in white hairs 
from reindeer sewed on with sinew thread, the designs produced being 
parallel lines, either straight, curved, or in circles. Figure 6 represents 
a pair of these ear-flaps. 


From the Yukon northward to Kotzebue sound and thence to Point 
Barrow, mittens and gloves are found in common use. The gloves are 
made usually with plaees for each ringer and the thumb. From the 
Yukon mouth to Point Barrow were obtained gloves having each of 
the lingers made of a separate piece sewed upon the hand, the thumb 
in both eases being sewed on in the same manner and having an 
awkward, triangular shape. 

A pair from Sledge island (number 45085) are made of sealskin with 
the hair removed and the wrists bordered with a fringe of white-bear fur. 
A pair from Point Hope (plate xx, 1), of the usual pattern described, 
is of tanned reindeer skin with the hair side inward. The wrists are 
bordered with a fringe, of little strips of tanned reindeer-skin, dyed 
reddisli brown, and on the baek are numerous little pendent strings of 
red-and-white and red-and-blue beads, with other beads strung on the 
fringe bordering the wrist. These gloves are joined by a double string 
of little copper cylinders, spaced by blue beads, reaching up to the 
central loop of soft, tanned skin, for going completely around the neck, 
thus holding the gloves without danger of their being lost if suddenly 
taken off. 

Plate xx, 3, shows a pair of deerskin gloves of the common pattern 
from Kotzebue sound. The skin is tanned with the hair left on and 
turned in on the inside of the hand and all around on the fingers. The 
back of the hand and the thumb are covered with a piece of white- 
hair deerskin, on which hang four tassel-like strips of wolverine skin. 
The wrists are bordered with a series of narrow bands of reindeer skin, 
with the white hair clipped short, and between the strips a narrow 
band of parchment-like skin is welted in. Midway in this series of 
strips a seam is bordered by a series of small, regularly spaced tufts 
of led worsted. A narrow 7 band of wolverine fur completes this orna- 
mental border. 

Other gloves from Bering strait are made of skin tanned with the 
hair left, on and turned inward; others have the hair entirely removed. 

A peculiar pattern of glove is common to the Diomede islands and the 
adjacent shore of Siberia. The lingers and the hand are of one piece, 
with three pieces of skin of a different color set in gores along the 
back and divided to extend down as a gore along the inside of eaeh 












finger. Plate xx, 7, illustrates an example of these gloves from King 

Another curious pair of gloves, from Norton sound, is shown in 
plate xx, 5. These are made with separate divisions for the thumb and 
the forefinger, the other fingers being provided with a single cover. 
They are made like other gloves used along the American coast in that 
they have the parts covering the fingers in separate pieces sewed on 
the piece forming the hand. 

The gloves illustrated in plate xx, 6, were obtained on the Diomede 
islands, Bering strait; they are made of tanned reindeer skin, with the 
hair side inward. The front of the gloves is a dingy russet brown in 
color and the skin on the back is hard-tanned and colored chestnut 
brown. The back of the hand and the wrist have ornamental patterns 
in red, white, and blackish stitching, made by sewing in white reindeer 
hairs and red woolen yarn with sinew thread. These are made in the 
style peculiar to these islands and the coast of Siberia already described, 
the pieces of skin sewed into the gores being pale buff in color. 

The glove shown in plate xx, 2, from Anderson river, British 
America, is similar in style to the gloves from the head of Norton 
sound. It is made of reindeer skin. The mittens used are of a com- 
mon pattern, with a triangular thumb. They are made of the skin of 
seals, reindeer, dogs, wolves, white bear, cormorant, murre, and salmon, 
and are sometimes of woven grass. 

For use while at sea long mittens reaching to the elbow or above are 
made of well tanned sealskin and are provided at their upper border 
with a cord for drawing them tightly against the arm. These mittens 
are waterproof and protect the hands of the hunter from water during 
cold weather. 

Plate xx r, (>, represents a typical pair of these mittens measuring 
21 inches in length. They are well made, with a piece of tanned skin 
welted into the main seam. Near the upper border is a broad strip 
of sealskin, and a strip of the same extends down each side of the seam, 
running thence to the end of the thumb. Set about the lower border 
is a wide band of skin; near the upper edge and also along each side 
of the bauds running to the thumb are tufts of white seal bristles with 
little tufts of young seal fur dyed a, reddish brown. 

From Sledge island I obtained a similar pair of mittens made from 
waterproof tanned sealskin, and which reach only a little above the 
wrist. One of these is shown in plate XXI, .">. 

On lower Yukon and Kuskokwim livers mittens made of salmon skin 
arc also used. Along all of the coast region the skin of the hair seal, 
tanned with the hair on. is used for this purpose. All three of the latter 
kinds are used mainly during wet weather in summer or at sea. 

Mittens of woven grass are also made on the lower Yukon and thence 
to the Kuskokwim. For winter use they make clumsily shaped mit- 
tens from the skins of dogs, reindeer, wolves, and cormorants. 


All along the coast where seals are hunted on the ice during the 
spring months, huge mittens of white bearskin or white dogskin are 
made to reach from the hand to a little above the elbows. These are 
worn by the hunters, while* creeping prone upon the ice, to serve as a 
shield, the left arm being carried bent across in front of the face and 
head as the hunter slowly creeps along. The bushy white hair on the 
mitten, being similar in color to the surface of the snow, serves as a blind 
to prevent the seal from observing the approach of the hunter. 


Among the Eskimo boots are the most common style of foot-wear; 
they are made with a hard-tanned sealskin sole and a top reaching just 
below the knee. The tops are generally of sealskin tanned with the 
hair left on, or of reindeer-skin tanned in the same manner. The seal- 
skin boots of this class may have the hair side worn either inward or 
outward; for this purpose the skin of the Phoca vitulina is most com- 
monly used. When topped with reindeer-skin, the hair is worn usually 
outward. The feet and ankles of the latter variety of boots are made 
of reindeer skin in the brown, short-hair summer coat; the legs are 
made usually in some pattern formed by combining pieces of the white- 
hair skin from the belly of a reindeer with strips of brown-hair skin 
from the legs of that animal. For this purpose skin from the white- 
hair tame reindeer of Siberia is highly prized. The tops of the boot- 
less are surrounded usually by one or two bands of white-hair deerskin 
with the fur shaved close to present a velvety surface, the seams along 
these borders having narrow strips of black skin welted in with little 
tufts of red worsted strung along some of the seams. Between these 
bands of shaved skin and the lower portion of the legs commonly is 
sewed a strip of wolverine skin, with long projecting hair, and gener- 
ally two or more little tassels of the same kind of skin hanging before 
and behind. The soles are of hard, oil-tanned sealskin bent up around 
the border and crimped about the heel and the toe by means of a 
smooth, pointed ivory crimper. The uppers are frequently sewed 
directly to the sealskin soles, but sometimes a narrow intervening 
strip of tanned sealskin is sewed in around the border. A long, nar- 
row strip of rawhide lias one end sewed to the sole on each side of 
the ankle to fasten the boot to the foot. These straps are raised and 
drawn across the rear just above the heel and then passed around in 
front of the ankle and back again, and may be tied either in front 
or on the sides. At the top the boots are fastened tightly over the 
trousers by means of a drawstring. This style of boot is common from 
the lower Yukon to the Arctic coast northward of Kotzebue sound. 
The specimen from Kotzebue sound shown in plate XXI, 12, is a typical 
imple of this style of foot-wear, but the pattern of ornamentation 
vaii<'.^ according to individual fancy. 







On the tundra south of the lower Yukon this general style of boot is 
made in a somewhat different fashion. The sewing is much more 
crudely done in that district than in the region to the northward. 
Plate xxi, 9, shows a pair of winter boots typical of the lower Kusko- 
kwim district.; they are made of deerskin tanned with the hair on and 
the hairy side turned in, but with a long, oval flap turned down in front 
from the top, thus having the hairy side outward on this portion. The 
outer flap is bordered by one or more narrow strips of white-hair deer- 
skin with little tags of worsted scattered along the lower edge, and is 
finished by a narrow strip of mink fur. 

The soles of the shoes worn in this district are of sealskin sewed on 
in the same manner as already described, but in a very crude fashion, 
owing to the unskilfulness of the needle women in this part of the 

On the lower Kuskokwim and southward to Tikchik lake the boots 
worn are more like those from the region north 'of the Yukon, except 
in the example shown in plate xxi, 8, from Tikchik, which have the 
front and rear of the legs ornamented with little tags of red worsted 
and white hair, and along the sides of the seams a series of little strips 
of reindeer-skin two or three inches in length. 

The top of the boot has two bands of white hair reindeer-skin sewed 
around, each bordered above by a narrow strip of plucked beaver-skin. 
The lower of these white bands is bordered on its lower edge by strips 
of plucked beaver-skin, three or four inches in length, hung in pairs. 
These boots have two pairs of little leather ears — one on each side of the 
toes and the other on each side of the ankles. A long cord is passed 
across the top of the foot through the first of these, the ends of which 
are crossed over the foot and passed through the ears at the sides of 
the ankles, thence crossing behind and around forward and tied, as 
already described. 

On King island and the Diomedes in Bering strait some of these deer- 
skin boots an 4 , handsomely ornamented, as shown in the accompanying 
illustration (plate xxi, 7) of a typical pair from the first named locality. 
They are made of white-hair reindeer-skin taken from the legs of the 
animal, and have a hard-tanned sealskin sole and a narrow strip of 
tanned sealskin of russet color between the sole and the uppers. The 
legs are handsomely ornamented with pattern work sewed on in colors — 
red, black, white, blue, and yellow being used. The white work is done 
mainly by sewing in long reindeer hairs. In addition colored threads 
are used for the red and blue. A line, yellow checked pattern work is 
produced by drawing narrow strips of yellow-tanned seal intestine 
through little slits cut along the strips of russet-colored tanned sealskin 
which arc set into the sides of the legs. Along these bands and on the 
borders of the pattern work are set little tufts of hair from the pup 
seal, dyed a deep chestnut red, alternating with little square tags of 
white-hair skin. As usual, around the top are several bands of white- 


hair skin, hot ween the upper two of which is a strip of wolverine skin 
with long projecting hair. These strips of skin along the upper border 
have welted into the seam between them a narrow strip of hard, black- 
tanned skin, so as to produce a black line along each seam. These 
boots are fastened to the foot as in the lirst pair described from the 
American mainland. The soles are crimped in the same manner as those 
from the adjacent coast, and both sewing and crimping are well done, 
as is characteristic of all work of this kind performed by the women 
throughout the region. ; 

For summer wear the common style of boot is of tanned sealskin 
with the hair side outward or with the hair removed. The latter kind 
is made waterproof, and the oil-tanned uppers are either black or 
dyed a deep reddish brown by the use of alder bark. The seams 
between the soles and the uppers, as well as those along the legs, are 
generally heavily welted, and commonly have the tops surrounded by 
a band of white parchment-like tanned sealskin, turned in to hold a 
drawstring for fastening the boot to the leg. The straps for fastening 
these boots are made usually of white-tanned sealskin attached to the 
seams between the soles and uppers on each side of the middle of 
the foot. They are then crossed over the top of the foot, and after 
passing through the ear or lap of sealskin which is sewed to the sole 
on each side of the ankle, they are again crossed above the heel and 
carried forward around the front, then back again to be tied as already 
described. Plate xxi, 10, shows one of a typical pair of these boots 
from St Michael. 

The legs of these boots usually reach to just below the knees, but 
some are made to extend to the hips for wearing while hunting or fishing, 
and many are made that reach just above the ankle. These latter are 
more in the style of dress boots, being worn about the villages or while 
t raveling in umiaks. Their uppers are made commonly of white, parch- 
ment-like tanned sealskin, but sometimes from the stomach of a large 
seal or walrus, which makes a beautiful white, parchment-like leather. 
The uppers are variously ornamented by welted seams and strips sewed 
in successively around the edge of the sole, as shown in plate xxi, 4, 
from (lolofnin bay. 

These short summer boots are made sometimes of tanned sealskin, 
with the hair left on and turned inward, so that the softened inner 
surface of the skin is exposed. They are surrounded at the upper 
bot dei usually by a white, parchment-like band with a drawstring, and 
the portion of the uppers over the toes and sides of the foot in front 
have sewed upon them strips of russet and white-tanned skin with 
tine yellow and black checked patterns, produced by drawing narrow 
strips of white tanned parchment through little slits cut in the material. 
Plate wi. 11, represents a typical example of this class of ornamenta- 
tion. The women living on the islands of Bering strait are noted for 
doing handsome work of this kind. 


















111 addition to the boots described, socks made of deerskin or sealskin 
with the hair not removed, and reaching a little above the ankles, com- 
monly are worn in winter. For wear at all seasons socks are made of 
woven grass, the patterns of weaving varying to a certain extent and 
sometimes different colored grasses being used to produce ornamental 
patterns, as shown in the sole of the example from the lower lvnsko- 
kwim, illustrated in plate xxr, 2. 

Plate xxi, 1, shows a typical grass sock from Razbinsky, on the 
lower Yukon, and plate xxi, 5, also represents a common style of grass 
sock from that district. The bot- 
toms of boots of all kinds are 
usually stuffed with a grass pad 
made by taking wisps of long 
grass stalks and binding them 
over one another to form a long 
cushion for the bottom of the foot. 
This gives a soft footing and ab- 
sorbs the moisture that penetrates 
the sole, so that it requires a long 
time for water to reach the foot. 

At night the socks and the grass 
pads are removed and hung to dry 
either over the lamp in the house 
or in a convenient place in the room, 
so as to be ready for use on the fol- 
lowing morning. 


Along the lower Yukon and 
thence to the Kuskokwim large 
numbers of bags are made for vari- 
ous purposes from the skins of 
salmon. Some are used for stor- 
ing clothes, and still smaller ones for various small objects, such as 
trinkets and small odds and ends of different kinds. ( Mliers are made 
very large, frequently with a capacity of a bushel or two, and are used 
for the storage of dry fish, which is kept in them in the storehouses 
until needed. 

Figure 7 (2) illustrates a salmon-skin bag for storing clothing. I'h is 
example, from Tikchik lake, is ornamented with bands <>f russet- 
colored fishskin and white, parchment-like skin from the throats of 
seals, and is neatly sewed with sinew thread. The upper border of the 
bag is hemmed, and a series of rawhide loops are seucd at intervals 
around the top, through which is run a cord of the same material for 

i"ii;. 7— Fish-skin clothing bag9 < | 

•1 1 


[ETH. ANN. 18 

use as a drawstring in closing the bag, The bottom is oval in outline 
and has a piece of fishskin sewed into it, with the seam inside. These 
bags arc in common use from the lower Yukon to the lower Kuskokwim. 
Figure 7 (1) represents a handsomely ornamented bag from St Michael, 
made from the skins of salmon trout. The bottom of the bag is fash- 
ioned from a piece of deerskin with the hair side inward. The sides 
arc ornamented with strips of white, parchment-like leather made from 
the gullets of large seals. These strips are edged, with narrow bands 

of russet-color leather, sewed with orna- 
mental seams of black and. white. On 
each of four upright white bands which 
cross the side of the bag are sewed two 
circular pieces and a four-pointed piece 
of the shiny black skin of the sea- wolf, 
the round pieces being edged with strips 
of russet skin. 

Figure 8 represents a sealskin clothing 
bag from Sledge, island. It is made from 
the skin of the ribbon seal, taken off 
entire, including both flippers. The uose 
and the eyes are sewed up; the only open- 
ing is a cut extending crosswise between 
the fore flippers. The edges of this cut 
are bound, with a border of stout raw- 
hide, pierced with holes at intervals of 
about two inches, through which is run a 
strong rawhide cord for lacing the open- 
ing. This skin is tanned with the hair 
left on. 

Bags of this character are made from 
skins of all of the smaller seals, and are 
useful for storing clothing from the fact 
that their shape makes them convenient 
for handling in umiaks or while on 
sledge journeys; at the same time their 
waterproof character serves to protect 
the contents from getting wet. Every 
family has from one to three of these 
bags, in which are kept their spare clothing, dressed, skins, and valu- 
able furs. 

1 • E 1 1 S( ) NAJj ADORNMENT 


The wearing of labrets and the custom of tattooing are very general 
among the Eskimo of the Alaskan mainland and islands northward 
from Kuskokwim river. The style of the labrets, as with the extent 
and the pattern of tattooing, varies with the locality. The custom of 

Fk.. 8— Clothing bag of sealskin d',;). 

















nelson] LAB RETS 45 

wearing labrets is almost ^ost among the Eskimo of the Asiatic coast 
and of St Lawrence island. One man seen at the latter point had a 
circle tattooed on each side of his chin to represent these ornaments 
(figure 156). Some of the natives on Mechigme bay, just south of East 
cape, Siberia, had labret holes in their lips. The Eskimo of the Yukon 
and the Kuskokwim who live nearest the Tinne have also generally 
abandoned the practice of wearing labrets, and the custom is becoming 
obsolete at other points where there is constant intercourse with the 

During my residence at St Michael it was rather uncommon to 
see very young men among the Unalit with their lips pierced, and 
throughout that time I do not think a single boy among them had been 
thus deformed. Many of the old men also have ceased to wear labrets, 
although the incisions made for them in youth still remain. 

Among the Eskimo of Bering strait and northward, where contact 
with the whites has been irregular, labret wearing is still in full force. 
Increasing intercourse with civilized people makes it only a matter of 
time for this custom to become entirely obsolete. In the district south- 
ward from the Yukon mouth labrets were not universally worn among 
the men, as is the case in the country northward from Bering strait, 
and in every village some of the men and many women were found 
without them. The labrets of the women are of a curious sickle shape, 
but vary in detail of arrangement, as shown by the accompanying illus- 
trations. Most of them are made with holes in the lower border for 
the attachment of short strings of beads. The women who wore 
labrets had the under lip pierced with one or two holes just over the 
middle of the chin. 

The use of these labrets, in the country visited by me, seemed to be 
limited to the district lying between Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers 
and Xunivak island. Elsewhere I did not see labrets of any kind used 
by women. In the villages of Askinuk, Kushunuk, and other places 
in that region the common form was a small, flattened, sickle-shape 
piece of ivory, with a broad, flattened base for resting against the 
teeth, and the outer tip brought down to a thin, flat point. Of this 
style there are some variations, the most common of which is to have 
the two ordinary sickle-shape labrets joined by a crosspiece of ivory 
cut from the same piece and uniting the two sickle-shape parts just on 
the outer side of the lip. 

Another form was to join the inner ends of the labrets so that the 
portion resting against the teeth united the bases of the two sickle-shape 
points. In a labret (plate xxn, 2) from Kofiigunugumut the piece 
joining the two sickle-shape points is flattened vertically. In another 
specimen (plate xxii, 3), from Kulwoguwigumut, this crosspiece, uniting 
the bases of the two projections, is flattened horizontally. In another 
(plate xxn, 4) from tin; lower Kuskokwim, the two sickle-shape projec 
tions unite exteriorly to the lip so that a single orifice in the middle of 
the lower lip serves for the insertion of the stem. 


The National Museum col lection contains two specimens of women's 
labrets one of which is shown in plate xxn, 10) obtained on Nunivak 
island by Dr W. II. Dall, which differ from most of those of the main- 
land in haying the broadened bases for resting against the teeth made 
of separate pieces of ivory. These pieces are small, flattened disks with 
holes in the center through which tits the inner end of the labret, after 
piercing the lips. These differ also in external form, as shown by the 

Another specimen (plate xxii, 1) obtained on Nunivak island has the 
common sickle-shape parts joined by an external bar, and the inner end 
is enlarged by means of similar small perforated disks of ivory set on 
the rounded inner end of the labret. This specimen has attached to its 
outer border three short, double strings of beads, which hang down 
over the chin. Plate xxn, 5, showing a specimen from Askiuuk j figure 
7, one from Ivuiwoguwiguinut, and figure 0, one from Kushunuk, are 
the ordinary forms of women's labrets of sickle shape. 

The labrets worn by men in the district between the Yukon and the 
Kuskokwim are rather small and are commonly formed of a long, thin, 
curved ivory flange for resting against the teeth, with a hat-shape pro- 
jection for extension through the lip to the surface. The hat shape 
projection is provided with a central hole, through which extends a 
wooden pin. This pin reaches beyond the outer border of the ivory 
and has fitted upon it some kind of bead, a round piece of stone, or, as 
in one specimen from Kunivak island, a truncated cone of lead. 

Another style of labret obtained from Nunivak island by Doctor Dall 
is shown in plate xxn, 10. It has the usual hat shape piece for pierc- 
ing the lip, with the wooden pin extending through and bearing on its 
outer end a white bead. Beyond this bead is attached a well-cut 
piece of serpentine, apparently representing the tail of a whale. This 
labret is two inches long and the serpentine tip is an inch and five-eighths 
in width by an inch and a quarter long. 

From the lower Yukon was obtained a large, flat labret (plate xxn, 
10) having a rectangular outline with the sides slightly rounded and on 
the inner surface a pin five-eighths of an inch in length which serves 
to pierce the lip. On this is fitted a long, oval piece of ivory an inch 
and a half long and five-eighths of an inch in width, made convex in 
front and concave behind, with a slot in the middle for fitting it on the 
pin. This labret is to insert in the lip and then the last described por- 
tion is fitted on it from the inside, thus holding it in place. The face 
of this labret measures an inch and seven-eighths in length by an inch 
in breadth and is made of fossil mammoth ivory. 

Northward from the Yukon the commonest style of labret is the hat- 
shape form shown in plate xxi, 21, of white quartz from Sledge island. 
This specimen has the inner side smoothly excavated to fit upon the 
teeth and the outer border has a groove across its face. This labret 
is about half an inch across its exposed face and nine tenths of an 
inch along the portion resting against the teeth. 


























Similar labrets are shown in plate xxn, 19, 20, from Sledge island, 
which are from an inch to an inch and a quarter along the beveled 
inner flange, and five eighths of an inch across their outer faces; these 
are made of hard stone, mottled black and white. Figure 9 shows a 
pair of lignite labrets worn by a King island man. 

The specimen shown in plate xxn, 9, was obtained on King island in 
Bering strait. The base is the ordinary hat-shape labret of walrus ivory, 
having a slot cut in its outer face in which is fitted a well modeled 
piece of serpentine two inches in length and three fou ths of an inch in 
breadth, representing the tail of a right whale, and is fastened in 
place by means of a wooden pin which passes through a hole drilled 
across the top of the labret and through a corresponding hole in the 

Fig. 9 — King island man with labrets of lignite. 

border of the piece of serpentine inserted in the slot. Its similarity 
of shape to the specimen (plate ^ xn, 10) from Nunivak island is curious, 
and probably represents an ancient and widely spread form that is now 
rare. A labret obtained on Nnnivak island by Doctor Dall (plate XXII, 
11) is elaborate in form, having a hat shape ivory base with six short 
strings of beads forming the outer part, which are held in position by 
flat ivory spacers. Another style (plate xxir, 12) from the same locality 
has an ivory base with a lead tip in the form of a truncated cone. 

In the neighborhood of Bering strait and Hotbam inlet, large, Hat 
labrets made of jadite were not uncommon. The beautiful specimen 
(plate xxii, 15) obtained in Ilotham inlet by Mr Woolfe measures one and 
seven-eighth inches by an inch and a quarter on its outer surface. It 
has an oval button on the inside an inch and a half in width; the out- 


line of the exposed surface is quadrangular, with the two sides rounded; 
the sin lace is plain, beveled at each end and crossed lengthwise by a 
groove. Other styles of labrets worn along this coast, in addition to 
those already described, have a large inner flange beveled to fit the 
teeth, and a large, rounded, knob-like head to project through the lips; 
these are made from various materials, usually some kind of stone. 

The specimen (plate xxn, 14) from Kotzebue sound is the finest labret 
obtained. It is made of nephrite and measures three and a half inches 
long by an inch and a quarter wide on its outer surface. It is reduced 
in thickness uniformly, is very regular in outline, and has a well-made 
button-shape projection on the inner surface for fastening it in the lip. 

Some large labrets made of white quartz were obtained at Point 
Hope; they are circular in outline on their outer faces, measure an inch 
and a half in diameter, and have the ordinary flanged projection inside 
for holding them in position. Some of these have the outer face plane 
and a few have half of a large blue bead fastened to the center of the 
outer surface. Others have the middle of the outer surface plane and 
thence to the border slightly beveled. The labret shown in plate xxn, 
18, is a good example of the variety with the bead in relief. Plate 
xxn, 17, shows one with plane surface. 

The collection also contains a specimen obtained by Mr Woolfe from 
Point Hope, which has a large blue bead fitted upon a wooden peg 
which pierces the hat- shape portion of the labret in a manner exactly 
similar to those from the island of Nunivak and adjacent mainland. 

Among the males labrets are worn only after puberty, as the lips of 
the young boys are not pierced until that period. The hole is made 
just below each corner of the mouth and at first a long, thin, nail-like 
plug of ivory, about an inch in length, having a slight enlargement at 
the inner end, is thrust through the opening and left for some time. 
After the wearer becomes accustomed to this, a somewhat larger plug is 
made, like that shown in plate xxn, 22, from Sledge island, and inserted 
in the hole for the purpose of enlarging it. This process is repeated, a 
larger plug being used on each occasion until the hole is of the size 
desired. In many cases it is so large that the teeth are visible through 
the opening when the labret is not in place. 

To complete the process of enlarging the hole, a man uses a series of 
from six to eight or ten of these little plugs, which he afterward 
pierces at their small ends and keeps strung upon a sinew cord, as 
shown in plate xxn, 25, from Koyukuk river and figure 23 of the same 
plate from Uhaktolik. These he may keep among his small effects 
or they may be hung as pendent ornaments to the end of his wife's 
waist belt, or to the strap of her needle case. When they are used in 
this way as ornaments, the men frequently etch little patterns upon 
them, as shown in some of the specimens (plate xxn, 23), which have 
about their center a double band of incised lines, making a zigzag pat- 
tern, with the raven totem mark toward the larger end. Various other 
figures are also drawn upon these ornaments as fancy may dictate. 























The people of Kowak and Noatak rivers, like those of Point Hope 
and the adjacent Arctic coast, wear large labrets, varying from half an 
inch to nearly two inches in diameter. The materials from which these 
are made varies greatly, among them being granite, syenite, jadite, 
quartz, slate, glass, lignite, and wood, as well as walrus and fossil mam- 
moth ivory. The heads, as already described, may be round, squarely 
beveled, angular, knoblike, or of various other forms. The photographs 
of men taken at Point Hope and Kotzebue sound show the appearance 
of these objects when in place (plate xxin and figure 10). 

Fig. 10— Kotzebue sound Malemut men and women. 

The specimen from Point Hope, figured in plate xxn, 24, is a knob- 
head labret made of a dark green stone. Another from the same 
locality (plate xxn, 13) has a hat shape base of ivory with a large blue 
bead on a wooden pin inserted in a hole made in the basal portion of 
the labret. 

In wearing large stone labrets, the lip is dragged down by their 
weight, so that the lower teeth and gums are exposed. It is the usual 
custom to wear but one of the larger size at a time, one of smaller 
dimensions being inserted on the opposite side of the mouth. While 
traveling with these people in winter, I found that during cold days 
18 ETH 4 



|ETH. ANN. 18 

the labrets were invariably removed in order to prevent the lip from 
freezing, as must have occurred had they remained in place. The 
labrets were removed and carried in a small bag until we approached 
a village at night, when they were taken out and replaced, that the 

Fl<3, ll— Tattooing on women (a, South of Yukon mouth; b, East cape, Siberia; c,c, Head of 

Kotzebue sound). 

wearer might present a proper appearance before the people. They 
are also sometimes removed when eating and before retiring for the 



Tattooing is universally practiced among the women of the Bering 
strait region, but has attained its greatest development on the Siberian 
coast and St Lawrence island. On the tundra south of the Yukon only 
part of the women are tattooed, and I was informed that the practice 
is comparatively recent among them. They claim to have adopted it 
from the women of Nunivak island, who had straight lines on their 
cheeks, and also from having seen tattooing on the faces of Tinne 
women. The' common pattern used in this district is a pair of lines 
across the chin from each corner of the mouth, as shown in figure ll,a. 

Fig L2 Tattooing on a St Lawrence island girl. 

Malemut women, as well as those from Noatak and Kowak rivers, 
cross the chin with scries of lines of tattooing radiating from the lower 
lip, as shown in figure Ll, 6, c; they also frequently have straight lines 
across 1 he back of the wrist and forearm. On St Lawrence island and 



MAN'S BIRDSKIN FROCK i about one-seventh 




the adjacent Siberian coast women have the sides of their faces (figure 
12) and their arms and breasts covered with finely designed patterns of 
circles and scroll work, sometimes crossed by straight lines. 

At East cape, the women ordinarily have six or eight pairs of lines 
crossing their chins, and on each side of their faces patterns of circles 

Fig. 13 — Tattooing on a woman of St Lawrence island. 

aad spiral lines; also, two or three vertical, parallel lines crossing their 
temples and extending to the chin. The patterns on the cheeks 
usually cover a space about four inches in width extending from the ear 
toward the nose and from the eye to the lower jaw. 

On the inside of the forearm two long parallel lines usually extend 
from the elbow to the bor- 
der of the palm. These 
are crossed just below the 
elbow by two short lines, 
and the wrist is crossed by 
four lines which sometimes 
eoinpletely encircle that part of the arm (figure 14). On the body the 
tattooing covers the breast and sometimes the shoulders and upper 

The pattern shown in figure L2 was seen on the face of a little girl of 
St Lawrence island. Figure 13, showing the tattoojng'on the face of a. 

Fig. 14 — Tattooing on n woman's arm, Easl oape, Siberia. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

woman of this island, Is from a sketch made and kindly presented to 
me by Mr Henry W. Elliot. 

Ai Mechigme bay, Siberia, a man was seen who had a double circle 
connected by radiating lines on each cheek (figure 15, <i). At Plover 
bay a boy had the raven totem over each eye, as shown in the illustra- 
tions of totem markings. On St Lawrence island a man had circles, 
representing labrets, near the lower corners of his mouth, and two 
short, parallel lines on each temple (figure 15, b). 


The practice of piercing the septum of little girls is still common 
among the Eskimo of the Alaskan mainland. While the children are 
small they wear one or more beads about the size of buckshot pendent 
from this hole so that they rest upon the upper lip. When the girl 
reaches maturity, the nose beads are not worn, and I never observed 
any use made by women of the hole in the septum except for carrying 


<«u.- -.. .^ • " <r 

a b 

FlG. 15— Circular forms of tattooing (a, on a Mechigme bay man; b, on a St Lawrence island young 


small objects like needles, which are frequently thrust through the 
opening and held in place by the pressure of the wings of the nose on 
either side. 

On the Asiatic coast large boys and young men were frequently seen 
wearing two or three beads strung on their hair so as to hang down 
over their foreheads. The hair and the clothing of little girls and young 
women of the district south of the lower Yukon are highly ornamented 
with beads. These are hung in parallel strings, held in position as flat 
bands by means of small, flat, ivory rods, or by strips of heavy skin 
pierced with holes at short intervals, through which pass the cords on 
which the beads are strung. Loops of these bands sometimes hang 
from the earrings over the shoulders to the breast; others are attached 
to the braids of hair above the ears. To these loops is frequently 
attached a heavy copper ring. 

The practice among women of piercing the lobe or outer edge of the 
car is commou iii all the territory occupied by the Eskimo visited by 
me. In some instances only the lobe is pierced, and in others holes 

















are made along the outer border above the lobe. It is also common 
for men to have their ears pierced, particularly in the district between 
the Yukon and Kuskokwim, where they wear huge earrings, from which 
frequently hang strings of beads, extending under the chin from ear 
to ear in a long loop. The variety of earrings worn by the women in 
the vicinity of the Yukon and the Kuskokwim is very great, as shown 
by the series illustrated in plates xxiv and xxv; they are made of 
iyory, with occasional settings of beads or other objects. Elsewhere 
along the coast very much less variety in the ornamentation of these 
objects was observed. 

It is interesting to note that the greatest richness of ornamentation 
and variety in form of earrings is found among the people of the district 
south of the lower Yukon, which coincides with the elaborate style of 
their carvings on masks and other objects. 

Earrings worn by men of the tundra between the Yukon mouth and 
the lower Kuskokwim are made of ivory and are very large. They are 
usually rectangular and measure from an inch and a quarter to two 
inches in length by three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a quarter 
in width. Frequently there are four plane sides, but some of them 
have the lower end rounded, while others have this portion beveled 
from each side to the center. They commonly taper slightly from 
above downward. The front is excavated, leaving a narrow rim of 
ivory around the border, the sides of the excavation being parallel 
with the outline of the tablet-like piece forming the ornament. Fre- 
quently this excavated space is crossed midway by a narrow ridge of 
ivory, which subdivides the central opening into upper and lower divi- 
sions of equal size. This sunken area is then filled with some kind of 
cement, probably made from spruce gum, in which are set various 
shining objects. 

The following descriptions cover some of the most interesting forms 
of men's and women's earrings contained in the collection. The speci- 
men from Kaialigamut shown in plate xxv, 12, measures an inch and a 
quarter in length by three quarters of an inch in width and has its 
outer face divided by an ivory ridge. The excavated spaces are rilled 
with a black cement, and set in each subdivision are three small, square 
pieces of lead, making six on each earring. The lower end is beveled 
to a point, and like all of these large earrings has a boss on the pos- 
terior surface near the lower border, which is pierced with a hole for 
fastening the ends of little pendants of beads. In addition, this speci- 
men lias a Longer string of beads passing beneath the chin to the 
opposite side. The hook for attaching these ornaments to the ear is 
cut from the same piece of ivory and extends back and downward 
nearly to the lower point of the carving. 

Another example from Kaialigamut (plate xxv, 10) is similar in shape 
to the one last described, with the lower end beveled to a point. It is 
two inches in length by an inch and one eighth wide, and has set in 


the cemented outer lace several fragments of bottle glass. On the 
back is the usual long, stout hook, and a small pierced knob or boss 
is provided near the lower point for the attachment of strings of beads. 

The caning from Xunivak island shown in plate xxv, 13, is an inch 
and live-eighths long by an inch wide, with the lower end of bow shape. 
The excavated front surface is not subdivided by an ivory ridge, but 
has an insertion of some white substance crossed by regular black lines 
forming a diamond-shape pattern over which is neatly fitted a piece of 
window glass. 

Another specimen (plate xxv, 11), from Big lake, is of quadrilateral 
outline and has an ivory septum across the center forming two sub- 
divisions filled with cement, in which are set four rounded fragments 
of brass, one at each corner, with a round bead of iron in the center. 
A smaller specimen than this, from the same locality, has four white 
beads set in the cement at each corner of the subdivisions, with frag- 
ments of glass in the center. Another earring, from Kofiigunugumut, 
has small fragments of mica imbedded in the cement. 

The greatest variety of carving, however, is shown in the earrings 
worn by women. These are sometimes plane-face, ^quadrate, or oval 
pieces of ivory with a stout hook in the back ; but, as a rule, the fronts 
are variously carved and ornamented. 

A common style of ornamentation consists of a series of concentric 
rings with a round pit or dot in the center. Their faces are frequently 
crossed by fine, etched, ray-like lines. Another form is that of the 
circles and ray-like lines shown in plate xxiv, 18, from Askinuk. 
All these rings have a stout hook for attaching them to the ear, and 
a pierced boss near the lower border, on the posterior side, for the attach- 
ment of a string of beads. 

From Cape Vancouver was obtained the specimen shown in plate 
xxiv, 5, which exhibits another form, consisting of a circle five-eighths 
of an inch in diameter, with a round hole in the center and a knob on 
each corner, and a long, narrow bar at its lower edge, all carved from 
a single piece of ivory. The front is surrounded by a series of seven 
neatly etched concentric circles. 

From the same locality is a similar earring (plate xxiv, 1), having 
the circles spaced in pairs, between the outer and the next to the outer 
set of which arc a series of round, sunken dots. 

The example illustrated in plate xxiv, 2, from Nunivak island, is an 
incli and an eighth long by three-fourths of an inch wide. The upper 
portion is circular, with concentric rings, and the central hole is filled 
with a little ivory plug; the borders have on each corner a little spur, 
also of ivory, and below, extending downward, two oblong ivory pro- 
jections with rounded ends which are pierced by a small, round hole. 
The front surfaces of these are convex and are covered with a series of 
Ave coucentric circles: etched lines extend from the outer circle down 
on the front of the lower projections, and a little circle surrounds each 
of the boles near the lower end. 












The specimen from Ghalitmut figured in plate xxiv, 0, is small and 
rounded; it is a little over half an inch in diameter, and has a rounded 
knob at each corner. The center has a black spot and two concentric 
rings with spaced dots scattered around these and a dot in the middle 
of each corner projection. 

Another small set (plate xxiv, 8) from Chalitmut measures half an 
inch in diameter and is rudely oval in shape, with five small circles and 
dots arranged in the form of a cross on a slightly convex face. 

A single earring obtained from St Michael (number 129205) exhibits 
two circles, joined one below the other, and each having the front cov- 
ered with concentric rings with a piece of lead set in the center. There 
is a hole at the lower end for the attachment of a string of beads. 

A pair from Xulukhtulogumut (plate xxiv, 3) measure three-quarters 
of an inch in width. They are of the usual rounded pattern with pro- 
jecting corners, and with the center excavated and set with half of a 
blue bead, which is surrounded by two concentric circles, the outer one 
having spur-like etched lines drawn from it to the corner projections. 

Another example (plate xxiv, 4) from Kaialigamut, is three-quarters 
of an inch in diameter, with rounded outline and convex face, in which 
is set half of a large, amber-colored glass bead. 

In addition to the styles already described, the country between the 
lower Yukon and the Kuskokwim affords a considerable variety of these 
ornaments, upon which are carved the features of men, animals, and 
tunghlit. These are usually oval in outline, measuring from half an 
inch to three-quarters of an inch in diameter, but some are oblong in 
shape. A pair from Chalitmut (plate xxiv, 15) are square, with the 
features raised in relief in the center. 

A pair from Kushutuk (plate xxiv, 13) are each three-quarters of an 
inch in length and in shape represent a small seal. 

The ornamentation of the specimen from Cape Vancouver illustrated 
in plate xxiv, 16, represents the features of a tunghdk, and on another 
from the same locality (plate xxiv, 14) is shown the face of a short- 
ear owl. 

Northward from St Michael to Bering strait the earrings used are 
more oblong in shape, being longer and narrower in proportion; they 
are also less handsomely ornamented, and the entire workmanship is 
more crude. These measure from half an inch to an inch and a half 
in length and from an eighth to half an inch in diameter. 

An oblong, convex-face pair (plate xxiv, ID), from Sledge island, 
measure a little over an inch and a quarter in length and three eighths 
of an inch in breadth, and have half of a large blue bead set in the 
front of each. Most of the earrings from this island have the faces 
crossed by deeply incised lines, although there were obtained one or 
two pairs which are perfectly plain. 

The specimen from Cape Vancouver shown in plate xxiv, 7, is a disk 
with a series of concentric circles on its face; another (plate xxiv, 11) 


froin the same locality represents a grotesque human face with tufts 

tied on each side to represent a woman's braided hair, while another 
(plate \\i\. 17), obtained also at the same place, represents the features 

of a seal. 

The only metal earrings obtained were collected ou the lower Yukon. 
They are made of copper, of the usual round style worn by women, with 
concentric circles on the face and projecting knobs at the corners. 

A pair of earrings (plate xxiv, 9), obtained at St Michael by Mr L. M. 
Turner, show smooth, disk-like faces three-eighths of an inch in diam- 
eter, back of which project for about a quarter of au inch rounded 
ivory pins extending downward three-quarters of an inch to roughly 
truncated tips pierced for the reception of the ends of a string of beads. 
These are the only earrings of this description that were seen. 

A pair from Cape Vancouver (plate xxiv, 12) are long, narrow, and 
oval in shape. They are an inch long, by three-eighths of an inch wide, 
and taper down to a narrow, flattened point pierced as usual for attach- 
ing a string of beads. Extending lengthwise along the median line of 
the faces is a ridge from which the surface is beveled away on both 
sides. On this doubly beveled surface is represented, by means of 
incised lines and dots, a grotesque human face with labret holes below 
the corners of the mouth. 

Another pair, from Nulukhtulogumut (plate xxiy, 10), are broadly 
oval in outline with a grotesque huinau face on the front; they measure 
seven-eighths of an inch long by nearly three-quarters of an inch wide. 

Plate xxv, 9, shows a pair from Ohalitmut, three quarters of an inch 
long by half an inch wide, having an oval outline and a slightly con- 
vex face. An incised line extends vertically through the center, with 
two pairs of beveled lines extending thence diagonally downward to 
the border on each side. In the three spaces thus made along each 
side of the surface are three small circles and dots. From the lower 
ends of these rings hang two pendants of beads two and one-half inches 
in length, and a string of beads twelve inches in length connects them 
below the chin. 

A pair of rounded earrings from Sfugunugumut (plate xxv, 7) are 
about seven-eighths of an inch in diameter and have knob-like projec- 
tions on four corners, each of the latter having au incised dot in the 
ej'iiter. The faces are marked by two concentric circles, with a hole in 
the center, which is plugged with wood. A hole in the lower edge of 
these rings serves to attach the upper edge of a band over four inches 
in Length, made of seven strings of beads, which are spaced near the 
upper end by a flattened ivory rod au inch and a half long, pierced 
with a hole for each string. Near the lower end they are held in place 
by a similar strip made from a thick piece of sealskin. 

On the islands as well as on both shores of Bering strait, the women 
frequently wear pendent from their earrings, in place of beads, strings 
of the little orange color horny sheaths from the angle of the bill of 






the crested auklet, in a double row four or five inches in length and 
terminating in one or more beads. 


The tonsure is universally practiced by the Eskimo wherever I 
traveled among them, whether on the American or on the Siberian 
coast, with the possible exception of some of them in the upper Kusko- 

FlG. Hi Hair combs ( t % ) . 

kwim region. The general style is to shave the top of the head, leaving 
a narrow fringe of hair about the border, which usually is kept trimmed 
evenly two or three inches in length around the head. 

The women dress their hair by parting it along the median line and 
arranging it in a pendent braid or club-shape mass behind the ear, as 
shown in the accompanying illustration (plate xxvi) of some 4 , women at 
Cape Smith. Sometimes the ends of the braids are united at the back 
of the head, or they may be arranged with strips of fur or strings of 


beads into club-skape rolls hanging down to the shoulders or even over 
the breast. Very often the strips of fur worn are those of the animal 
representing the family totem, and when wrapped about the hair in this 
manner they indicate the gens to which the woman belongs. 

South of the Yukon mouth the women are especially fond of orna- 
menting the pendent rolls or braids of hair by hanging bands and 
strings of beads upon them with ivory ornaments attached, some of 
which are figured. They usually represent the faces of animals or of 
grotesque semihuman creatures. The ornament from Big lake illus- 
trated in plate xxv, 1, is of ivory and represents the face of a wolf. 
.V not her (plate xxv, 2), from Konigunugumut, represents a grotesque, 
semihuman face. On one from the lower Kuskokwim (plate xxv, 3) 
there is a representation of a human countenance, while one from 
Aginkebugumut (plate xxv, 1) shows also a grotesque face. Another 
specimen from Big lake (plate xxv, 6) is ornamented with a conven- 
tional pattern. 

Combs used by the Eskimo for the hair are made by cutting slots in 
the straight edge of flat or slightly curved pieces of deerhorn, walrus 
ivory, or bone. 

A rather elaborately made deerhorn comb (figure 16,1) is from the 
lower Yukon. It has a series of teeth along one edge; the handle has a 
bear's head in relief on each side, and a ring of the material is left on 
the back to strengthen the comb and to afford a better grip for the 
hand. The upper side of the handle is crossed by parallel grooves 
and a zigzag pattern formed by a series of circles pierced with central 

A specimen from Sledge island (figure 16, 5) is a flat tablet of deer- 
horn with a series of teeth in one end and two projecting animal heads 
carved on the upper end of the handle. Another, from St Michael 
(figure 16,4), is of deerhorn, with the handle ornamented by lines and 
dots and terminating in a ring. In figure 16, 6, is shown a comb, from 
tin* Diomede islands, made from a hollow bone, which has a series of 
teeth of different sizes surrounding each end. 

Figure 16,2, shows an example from Nunivak island made from apiece 
of walrus ivory, and has one end provided with large teeth and the 
other with smaller ones. Another, from St Lawrence island (figure 
L6,3), is cut from a paddle-shape piece of bone. It has large rounded 
teeth and a slender handle, pierced near its upper end. 


Bracelets of iron, brass, or copper are worn by women and girls 
throughout the region visited. The men also use bracelets made of a 
Iskiu cord on which is strung one or more large beads of ivory or 
other substance. They are generally used while at sea for rolling under 
the end of the sleeves of the waterproof skin frock. In plate xxv, 5, 
is shown ;m example of these bracelets from Nunivak island. 






Throughout the Eskimo country from the lower Kuskokwim to the 
Arctic coast, a favorite waist belt woru by the women is made from the 
incisors of reindeer. These are obtained by cutting off the tip of the 
lower jaw, leaving sufficient bone to retain the teeth in their natural 
position. These rows of teeth are sewed along a strap of rawhide, 
one overlapping the next in scale-like succession, so that they form a 
continuous series along its entire length. 

Some of these belts have a double row of such teeth, and as each set 
represents a reindeer, it is evident that a long period of hunting is 
necessary ere a sufficient number can be accumulated. 

In addition to the belts, made of reindeer incisors, they have others 
made by fastening along the surface of a strap of tanned sealskin a 
series of smooth brass buttons in close succession, or they ornament 
the entire length of the outer surface of the belt with circles and lines 
of beads arranged according to the fancy of the wearer. 

When worn, the belts are brought loosely around the waist and held 
in place by a toggle or button, which is attached to the belt by a short 
cord tied through a hole pierced in the button for the purpose. These 
cords are attached to the belt about a foot or fifteen inches from the 
ends, so that the latter hang down in front of the hips on each side. 

The belt buttons are passed through a cord loop on the opposite side 
of the belt and thus hold it in place. They are made of ivory, bone, or 
reindeer horn, and have very great variety of form. Some are merely 
rounded knobs, or are made from the tooth of a bear or walrus pierced 
in the middle, while others are in the form of hooks. Flat button- 
shape carvings, with squared, circular, or oval outlines are common, 
but most numerous of all are those made in the forms of seals, walrus, 
birds, and men. 

A number of these objects have been illustrated (plate xxvit) in 
order to show their great variety and to demonstrate the skill and 
ingenuity in carving which these people possess. 

The following notes describe the character of those figured, which 
are made of ivory except where other substances are indicated. 

The specimen from Cape Nome, illustrated in plate xxvn, 1, is a 
good example of this style of fastener. A similar object, shown in 
figure 2 of the same plate, is from Ohalitmut; this is a fragment of 
deerhorn, an inch and three-quarters long and three-quarters of an 
inch in diameter, smoothly rounded, and pierced with a central hole. 
Another (figure 4), from Kotzebue sound, consists of a long, quadran- 
gular piece of walrus ivory an inch and a half long by half an inch in 
width, with a narrow, raised ear or projection on the middle of the 
inner surface, which is pierced lengthwise for the passage of a cord; 
the front is marked with incised lines. Figure 5 illustrates a specimen 
from Ohalitmut, which Is somewhat similar in shape to the last, 


except that it is round and about half an inch in diameter. It has a 
flattened projection on one side, which is pierced to receive the cord. 

Another example from OapeKome (plate xxvn, 6) is a narrow, oblong 
piece oi* ivory, having the front strongly convex and the back slightly 
concave, with a projection near the middle, through which passes a 
broad opening for the cord. Another, from Chalitmut (plate xxvn, 
25), is a roughly oval, plummet-like piece of ivory, with a stem like 
projection on one end which is pierced for the cprd; the surface is 
crossed by incised lines extending around each face and by a similar 
line around its greatest diameter, between which and the stem are four 
sets of circles and dots. 

The specimen from Anogogmut, illustrated in plate xxvn, 10, is a 
neatly made carving of a seal an inch and three-eighths long, with a 
projecting ear-like piece on its lower surface, through which a trian- 
gular hole admits a cord. Another, from Nunivak island (plate xxvn, 
15), is a double oval carving, with an angular projecting ear on the 
lower surface for the attachment of the cord. On the front the double 
oval surface meets at a narrow neck, each end having etched upon it a 
grotesque countenance, probably representing the face of a seal. 

The fastener shown in plate xxvn, 12, from Sfugunugumut, is an 
inch and a half long, made from walrus ivory in the shape of a white 
whale, and is pierced through the side. Figure 3 shows a carving 
from Agiukchugumut, two and a quarter inches in length, slightly 
resembling in outline the incisor of a bear; on the truncated end is a 
grotesque semihuman face, and etched upon the sides are lines, circles, 
rnd dots, including the representation of fore and hind limbs. It 
represents some being recognized in the mythology of the Eskimo. 

Plate xxvn, 7, represents a neatly made carving, an inch and three- 
quarters long, in the form of a walrus, the flippers of the animal being 
conventionally shown in relief. It is from the lower Kuskokwim. 

Plate xxvn, 11, shows a miniature carving, from Sledge island, repre- 
senting a white bear; it is an inch long and is pierced through the side 
for the cord. 

Plate xxvn, 8, illustrates a fastener, from Nunivak island, represent- 
ing a walrus. It measures two and a' half inches in length and is 
pierced vertically for the cord. 

An unnumbered piece from Kushunuk is a small carving represent- 
ing on its front a grotesque figure of a woman,* it is pierced on the 
back for the passage of the cord. 

Plate xxvn, 10, represents a small carving, from Nunivak island, an 
inch and three eighths long, almond-shape in outline, flat on the lower 
edge and concave on the upper; the latter surface has marked upon it 
the figure of a fish, with a broad, deeply incised, crescent-shape 
mouth; it is pierced vertically for the cord. 

Plate \\\ ii. 1 I. shows a fastener from Oape Nome; it measures an 
i"''!' :"> ( 1 a half in length and represents the heads of two polar bears 





with open mouths and joined at the necks. A hole passes laterally 
through the bases of the necks for the cord; the heads are divided by 
a deep, broad incision, separating- them from each other at their bases. 

Another fastener from Gape Nome (figure 17) is a fine piece of com- 
posite carving. Held in one position it represents the head of a white 
bear; turned with the other surface upward it represents a seal, the ears 
of the bear serving in that case for the fore-flippers of the latter animal, 
while a ridge along both sides of the posterior portion of the seal's 
body marks the position of its hind nippers and serves to outline the 
lower jaws of the bear. This object can also be used as a cord handle. 

Plate xxvn, 13, from Point Hope, is an excellent representation of 
the skull of a walrus an inch and a half in length. Figure 21 of the 
same plate represents a fastener from Askinuk, in the form of a seven- 
fingered human hand. 

Another style of button or belt fastener is made from a rounded, 
oval, or quadrangular flattened piece of ivory or bone, pierced through 
the center with a single hole for the accommodation of the belt cord. 

The following fasteners are also illustrated in plate xxvii: 

Figure 19, from the lower Yukon, 
is a thin, square piece of ivory, 
pierced in the center by a hole for 
the cord; its border is surrounded 
by a series of etched lines, forming 
a wave pattern; extending toward 
the center from each corner are 
etched the tridentate marks repre- 
senting the raven totem. ,, ,„ T . ,. , , 

& . Fig. 17— Ivory belt fastener. 

Figure 20 is from Cape Vancou- 
ver. It has a circular face, with four projecting knobs at the corners, 
and etched upon the front are seven concentric circles; the knobs at 
the corners are pierced and the holes are plugged with wood; two 
circular lines surround the holes. 

Figure 22, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a round, convex-face piece 
of ivory, with the surface neatly carved in relief with a wave pattern 
alternating with rings; a large ear-like projection on the back is 
pierced for the cord. 

Figure 18, from Anogogmut, is an inch and a quarter long, rounded 
above and square below, with a slightly oval front, on which, in low 
relief, is a grotesque human face. The usual ear-like ring on the back 
serves for attaching the cord. 

Figure 17, from Nunivak island, is an inch and three-eighths long 
and an inch and a quarter wide. It is excavated at the back, and on 
the front has a well-made representation of human features, witli the 
mouth and the eyes pierced, and with lines representing snow goggles 
across the eyes; on the back is a strong ear for attaching the cord. 

Figure 24, from Cape Vancouver, represents the head of a salmon; 


it is hollow and has an ivory pin passing through its base, to which a 
cord may be attached. 

In addition to the button-like objects described, other belt fasteners 
arc made in the form of hooks. These vary from plain hooks, as in 
plate w\ ii, 30, to the elaborately carved forms shown in this plate. 

Figure -<>. from Agiukchuguinut, has its surface marked by incised 
lines inclosing the eye at the base of the hook, passing thence to a 
point, where they unite. A similar but larger specimen is more elab- 
orately ornamented on its surface. 

Figure 27, from Chalitmut, represents a fish, and has an incision 
along the entire length, following its outline. 

Figure 23, also from Chalitmut, is a square, flattened piece of ivory 
with a slit-like notch cut in on one side to a hole in the center, and 
with a beveled edge on one face. Both surfaces are marked by heavily 
incised lines. 

Figure 28, from the mouth of the Yukon, is a rudely made hook with 
the head of an animal carved upon the outer end, the other end being 
pierced by a hole for the cord; along the back of the animal, from 
between the ears, extends an incised line, from which other lines 
extend diagonally down the sides as though outlining segments. 

Figure 29, from the northern end of Norton sound, is a curiously 
made hook in the shape of a human figure, represented as sitting on 
its legs with the body bent forward and the head supported by the 
hands placed on either side of the face; the area inclosed between the 
neck and the arms serves for attaching the belt cord, and the legs 
extending forward and upward parallel to the body serve as a hook 
for insertion into the opposite loop. 

Figure 9, from Kushunuk, represents a rudely outlined, grotesque 
human figure. 

Figure 30, from Agiukchugumut, shows a plain hook with an eye 
for the cord and two lines etched along the surface, surrounding the 
eye and following the outline. 

The men and boys wear belts of various kinds. Sometimes these 
may be simply a rawhide cord or strap of tanned skin; more com- 
monly, however, they are made of the skin taken from the feet of a 
wolverine or wolf, the claws being left on. It is soft-tanned without 
removing the hair and the edges are sewed together to make a continu- 
ous band ; on the back is sewed the skin of the animal's head, the 
nose being attached to the belt and the tail fastened to the lower end. 
These belts are highly prized, and it is very seldom that a man or a 
hoy, unless lie be very poor, does not possess his wolverine or wolf-skin 
belt. It is supposed to give the wearer a certain strength and prowess 
ilar to those qualities in the animal from which the skin was taken. 

Belts representing the totem animal of the owner are also worn, and 
sometimes the mummified bod ies of the little weasel are attached to them 
in front, in the belief that some of the animal's prowess will be conveyed 







to the wearer. These weasel belts were most frequently seen among 
people from the bead of Norton bay and Kaviak peninsula, where 
they seemed to be particularly prized. The people from that section 
offered as much as two dollars' worth of furs for the skin and the head 
of a weasel for this purpose. 

Fig. 18— Lamp from Point Barrow. 


Throughout western Alaska, including the islands of Bering strait, 
and upon the coast of Siberia, open lamps are used for burning seal oil; 
they are made of clay, soap- 
stone, or other easily worked 
stone, and present considera 
ble variety of form. 

At Point Barrow I saw a 
tine soapstoue lamp (figure 
18), 2 feet long and 10 inches 
broad, weighing about 30 
pounds. The owner refused 
to sell it, but the accompany- 
ing sketch made at the time shows the manner in which it is sub- 
divided by ridges of stone, with sunken interspaces; it is symmetrical 
in form and suboval in outline, with the convexity greatest on one side. 
At East cape, Siberia, 1 saw a stone lamp lying upon a grave, just 
back of the village, which is similar in outline to the Point Barrow 

lamp described, but it lacked the subdivisions 
across the interior; it is about 15 inches long and 
proportionately broad. 

The specimen illustrated in plate xxviii, 3, was 
found on the eastern coast of Siberia; it is made of 
stone, is suboval in outline, deeply excavated at 
the back, and slopes upward to a broad ledge in 
front; this ledge is crossed by a ridge of stone cut 

Fig. 19— Ivory carving 
representing a lamp 
and stand (full size). 

through in the center for holding the wick. 

On the Diomede islands similar lamps were found 
in use, but a child's toy, made from ivory in shape of a lamp, was 
obtained on one of these islands, which shows a different form (figure 
19). It is suboval in outline and deepest in the center, with a ridge 
extending along each side just above the bottom, and with a groo\ r e 
cut through the middle of each side for the wick. This lamp is repre- 
sented as standing upon a stool like frame, which is supported by four 
legs, with a crosspiece on each side and two crosspieces on the ends to 
hold the legs in place. 

An example (number 64223) from Hotham inlet is of stone, subtri- 
angnlar in outiiue, with the convexity greatest on one side, toward which 


the bottom slopes: t lie long, nearly straight, unnotched sdge forms 
the ledge on which the wick rests. 

From St Lawrence island a number of lamps were obtained, showing 
considerable variety of form. 

Plate XXVIII, 7, represents a lamp made of clay, 11J inches long, 9J 
wide, and 2| deep; it is suboval in outline, with a tray-shape bottom; a 
high, thin ridge runs along each side, just above the bottom, which 
projects upward, and inclines a little outward; a deep notch is cut 
through the middle of these ridges close to the level of the bottom for 
receiving the wick. The form of this lamp is precisely that indicated 
on the toy carving from the Diomede islands above described (figure 19). 

Plate XXVIII, 8j illustrates a lamp from St Lawrence island, 14 J inches 
long by V2{ wide and 2| deep. It is like the last in general shape, but 
slopes gradually from the sides downward to within a short distance 
of the bottom, when it drops suddenly to a depressed area about an 
inch deep, which occupies the entire bottom of the lamp; along each 
side of the bottom projects a ridge, which slopes upward and a little 
toward the middle. These ridges are pierced by a round hole near 
each end, about on a line w r ith the bottom of the lamp, through which 
the wicks were inserted.* Both this lamp and the, one last described 
undoubtedly stood upon framework supports, and were used probably 
for cooking purposes. 

A tray-shape clay lamp (number 63569) from St Lawrence island is 
15i inches long by 10| wide; it has two projecting ridges on the inner 
sides, midway between the rim and the bottom, for supporting the 
wick. This, like the other large lamps from this island already 
described, was undoubtedly used for cooking. 

Plate xxv in, 4, shows a tray-shape lamp from St Lawrence island, 
which undoubtedly was used solely for illuminating purposes. It has 
the upper border flattened smoothly on three sides; along the front the 
slope extends gently backward toward the deepest part. Extending 
lengthwise, midway between the bottom and the front border or lip, is 
a thin projecting ridge; the front border of the lamp above this ledge 
shows signs of having been burnt; evidently the wicks had their bases 
supported against the raised ridge while their upper edges projected 
from the Lip. 

Plate XXVIII, 5, represents the support for the last-described lamp. 
1 1 is made of clay, and is in the form of a pot 5 inches high and 6| wide. 
It has a flat bottom, with the sides rounded to the front, where a cres- 
cent ic depression is made in the border, with a slightly raised point on 
the rim at each side. The lamp was placed on the mouth of the vessel, 
the depressed portion of which is just beneath the point where the wick 
rots along 1 he outer edge of the lip, so that any drippings of oil which 
might run down would be caught in the vessel below. 

The lamp from St Lawrence island shown in plate xxvm, 9, is some- 
what similar in shape to the preceding, but having the bottom flattened 





and on the posterior side a handle like projection which extends outward 
for two inches from the general outline of the lamp. Along the opposite 
side the bottom slopes gradually from the border to the side next to 
the projection just described, where its deepest point is found. Just 
below the border is a ridge for supporting the wick, which rests along 
the upper edge of the lamp in front. Plate xxviii, 10, represents a 
wooden bowl-like holder or support for this lamp. It is excavated into 
a smoothly oval, gourd-shape depression, and has the bottom Hat to 
insure its retaining an upright position. 

All of the lamps from St Lawrence island are made with nearly tiat 
bottoms, with the exception of that shown in plate xxviii, 4, in which 
the base is rounded. 

Plate xxviii, 12, from Norton bay, is a cresceutic toy lamp made of 
stone, with a sharp edge extending almost straight across one side, the 
remainder of the border approaching a semicircle. 

Figure 11 of the same plate is a clay lamp from St Michael, very 
similar in shape to the preceding; it is the ordinary form used at that 
locality and in other villages of the Unalaklit. 

From St Michael there is a toy lamp (number 13470) made apparently 
by utilizing a natural hollow in a small stone. There is also a small 
toy lamp of stone (number (>475), from Cape Darby, of cresceutic out- 
line, and sloping from the nearly straight border to the deepest point 
below the rim on the opposite side. 

Figure 6 represents a stone lamp obtained by Mr L. M. Turner at 
St Michael; it is nearly pear-shape in outline, with a smoothly sunken 

* Figure 2, from Big lake, shows a round, saucer-shape toy lamp of 
clay, with the bottom rounded and the interior regularly depressed. A 
series of three parallel grooves are incised around the outer edge, near 
the border; inside the border are seven incised parallel grooves, suc- 
ceeded by two others which encircle the center of the bottom and are 
connected with the series on the side by four spoke-like rays, each of 
which is formed by a series of four incised lines with an intermediate 
row of dots. 

Similar round, saucer-shape lamps are in common use from the Kus- 
kokwim to the Yukon mouth and are found also along the shore of 
Norton sound to St Michael. One of these lamps from the lower 
Yukon bears Museum number 38078a. It has two grooves encircling 
the outside, near the border; inside are four heavy grooves, and a large 
cross is incised in the center of the bottom. 


In the neighborhood of Norton sound and the lower Yukon the most 

common form of dipper is made by cutting a long, thin strip of spruce, 

three to six inches wide, and fashioning one end into the form of a 

handle; the other end is thinned down to a long, wedge shape point, 



and the wood is steamed and bent upon itself so that the thin edge 
rests against the strip just inside of the base of the handle. It is then 
held in position by means of two pairs of sticks clamped upon opposite 
sides and tied by a wrapping of cord or spruce rootlets. After the 
frame becomes dry the clamps are removed and a series of holes are 
punched through the overlapping wood. The bottom of the cylinder 
formed by the sides has a groove extending around it, in which is fitted 
a circular or an oval piece of wood, with the edges chamfered. When 
this bottom is in place the stitching of rootlets is passed through the 
series of holes in the overlapping ends, holding them permanently in 

Plate xxix, figures (5 and 7, illustrate dippers of this description 
from Norton sound and Sledge island, respectively. The latter is not 
colored; the former has on the outside of the handle a band exteudiug 
around the upper and lower edges of the sides, and a strip around the 
sides of the bottom painted red. The red borders on the sides are 
outlined on their inner edges by narrow black lines in a slight groove. 

Figure 8 of the same plate represents a dipper of slightly different 
pattern from the lower Yukon. It is obovate in horizontal section, and 
near the beveled edge of the end of the strips of wood which form the 
sides of the dipper there is a slightly raised boss extending across it as 
a strengthener. Exactly opposite this is a similar thickening of the 
side, which strengthens it and renders the curves around the ends 
uniform, in the same manner that a thickening in the center of a bow 
braces it and governs the curves. After being steamed the wood is 
bent until two notches cut in the upper edge come together at the 
points where one end of the strip should overlap the other inside or' 
the handle. The ends are then held in place by means of four short, 
stout sticks, which are bound in pairs on the outer and inner sides by 
means of tightly wrapped spruce roots, which form a strong clamp. 
In this manner the wood is held firmly in place until it dries, after 
which the clamps are removed and a double series of holes are pierced 
lor sewing. A groove is cut on the inner side near the lower edge, 
into which the chamfered edges of the bottom are sprung. Spruce root- 
lets are then sewed along the holes pierced in the side, and the dipper 
is ready for use. 

Plate xxix, 12, from Ikogmut (Mission), represents a round, bowl- 
shape dipper cut from a single piece of wood, with a fiat handle, project- 
ing on the inner side; its capacity is about a quart. 

Figure 10 of the same plate, from St Lawrence island, is a fiat- 
bottom, bowl-shape dipper, a little smaller than the preceding, which 
has a round handle projecting from one side with a quadrate opening 
cut i hrough it. 

The dipper from Cape Nome shown in plate xxix, 9, is made from 
the horn of a Dall's sheep. It has a deep spoon-shape bowl, with a 
long, slender handle provided with an ivory pin, held in place by two 
ivory pegs set in a slol cut through its outer end and projecting down- 





ward with a recurved book. This is intended to prevent the hand from 
slipping. Dippers similar to this were obtained from Kotzebue sound. 

Among the handsome dippers observed was one seen at Point Hope, 
made from fossil mammoth ivory. It was oblong in outline, with a 
deeply excavated interior and a handle projecting at one end. 

Plate xxix, 3, from Cape Nome, shows an oval, spoon-shape ladle, 
with a rounded handle, pierced by two orifices, projecting from one side. 
A ladle similar to the precediug in form of handle is common along 
the coast of Bering strait from Cape Nome to the Diomede islands. 
A specimen from Sledge island, shown in figure 2 of plate xxix, is 
similar as to the form of the bowl, but has a handle more ornately 

The dipper from Chalitmut, shown in plate xxx, 24, has a handle 
smoothly rounded, with a long, slender, oval hole pierced through it. 
The inside of the bowl is surrounded by a checked pattern in black, 
with a curious figure representing some mythological being marked on 
the center in black paint. This paint is very durable, since it shows 
no signs of defacement, although the utensil has been used in hot water 
and in greasy compounds. 

Plate xxx, 19, from the lower Kuskokwim, is somewhat similar in 
outline to the last. The handle is provided with a very small hole, and 
the edge of the bowl is elevated like a rim above the point of insertion 
of the handle. This spoon has its inner border encircled by two black 
lines with crosslines, and in the center is painted, in black, the form of 
a seal with a spear attached to its back, to which is fastened a line with 
a float at its outer end. Near the upper edge of the handle are black 

Plate xxx, 20, from Gape Vancouver, shows a spoon somewhat similar 
in shape to the preceding, but with the handle differing in outline and 
the inside of the bowl bordered by a black line, with a conventional 
drawing of some mythological animal. 

Plate xxix, 5, from Chalitmut, has the outer end of the handle trun- 
cated and a long, narrow, triangular slot cut through it; the inside of 
the bowl is ornamented with two drawings, in black, of the killer whale, 
and the exterior surface is painted red; the handle is crossed by red 
and black bars. 

Dipper numbered 38630, is similar in outline to that just described. 
On the inside the figure of a man, a circle, and two skins, apparently of 
otters, are painted in black; the border of the bowl is surrounded on 
the inside by a black line. The handle and the lower border are red 
and the former is crossed by a black band. 

Plate xxx. 21, from Sfugunugumut, is similar in outline to the last 
mentioned. It has a seal-like animal painted on the bottom, showing 
details of its internal anatomy, and inclosed by two long arms with the 
hands extended and the palms pierced similarly to the hands. Similar 
figures are seen on masks from this district. 

A ladle with a deep bowl, from Paimut, illustrated in plate xxx, 25, 


bas the handle narrowed near the base, then widened and narrowed 
again toward the top, ending in a rounded point; a triangular slot is cat 
through the handle, and near the top is a circular hole; its upper sur- 
face is carved around the border, and a quadrangular area with incurved 
sides is sunken near the base and painted black; on the lower surface 
a groove extends in toward the handle on each side and surrounds the 
bottom. The form of a small fish is painted in black on the bottom of 
the howl, which, near its border, is surrounded by two black rings 
connected by crossbars. 

Plate xxx, 23, from Chalitmut, has the handle made in two parts, 
joined by a crossbar near the outer end; the lower side of the bowl and 
part of the handle are painted red; above this the handle is crossed by 
one red and two black bands. On the inside of the bowl are painted 
figures of the curious hybrid animal known in Eskimo mythology as the 
metamorphosis of the white whale into a combination of wolf and whale. 

Plate xxx, 22, from Sfugunugumut, is similar in form to others 
described. It has the inside of the spoon outlined by a black line, and 
in the center a pattern like that seen on women's earrings in this dis- 
trict, being a circle and a dot with four projecting points which form 
corners on the outside of the circle. , 

Figure !) of the same plate, from Konigunugumut, is a round handle 
spoon, the handle being surrounded at equal intervals with three beads 
cut in the wood; it is not painted. 

Figure 10, from Chalitmut, is a plain-handle spoon having the form 
of a seal x)ainted in black on the inner surface. 

Figure 16, from the Kuskokwim, is a plain-handle spoon having a 
double-head bird painted in black on the inside; the inner border of 
the bowl is surrounded by two black lines. 

Plate xxix, 4, shows a spoon from Sabotnisky with a plain handle 
narrowed near the bowl, which is pear-shape in outline and has the 
figure of an otter painted within it. The border is surrounded near the 
upper edge by two black lines; the edge of the rim is red, as are also 
the borders of the handle on each side, which are connected by a cross- 
bar of red in the middle; the two quadrangular areas of plain wood 
thus left on the upper surface of the handle are outlined in black. 

Plate xxx, 17, also from Sabotnisky, is a long, oval spoon, with the 
bowl continued to form the handle; it has both the upper and the 
lower surface ornamented with figures in black. 

Plate xxix, 1, represents a rudely shaped ladle from Big lake. It has 
a long handle, flattened above and oval below, and is painted red except 
on the inner surface of the bow 7 l. On this unpainted portion is out- 
lined ;i figure of the head and fore part of the body of a mythological 
animal, combining features of the wolf and the killer whale. The fin 
of the whale is shown rising from the shoulders of the animal, while 
the fore feet and the head of the wolf are also represented. 

Plate \\i\, 1 1, from St Lawrence island, is abroad, flattened scoop, 
with ;i short, projecting handle on the inner end and nearly square 





across its outer border. This utensil is used for skimming oil or for 
taking the scum from boiling meat. 

Plate xxx, 15, represents a small, rudely fashioned wooden spoon 
from St Lawrence island, somewhat similar in outline to the scoop last 

Plate xxx, 18, from Sledge island, is a spoon with a deep bowl and 
a short, neatly turned handle. 

Plate xxx, 11, from Kulwoguwigumut, is a short-handle spoon 
having a narrow black line extending around the inner border of the 
bowl, in the center of which are the figures of three reindeer and a 
large pair of antlers in black. 

Plate xxx, 14, from Kushunuk, is a short- handle spoon with a 
square, shovel-shape edge. 

Plate xxx, 13, is similar to the last in shape, but has on the inside 
of its bowl the figure of a reindeer in black. 

Plate xxx, L2, from Kaialigainut, is a scoop-shape spoon, with a con- 
ventional representation of a wolf-like animal on the bowl, which is 
also ornamented with bordering lines of black, and is dotted over with 
round, red spots. 

Plate xxx, 7, from Point Hope, is a small ivory spoon, with a hole in 
the handle, to which is attached a piece of rawhide cord. 

Fig. 20— Marrow spoon (£). 

Plate xxx, 4, from Anogogmut, is a flat spoon, made from reindeer 
horn, having its smooth upper surface ornamented with three concentric 
circles and a black dot, and two parallel incised lines which extend 
around the surface just inside the border. 

Plate xxx, 3, from Kushunuk, is a long, narrow spoon of deerhorn, 
with a hole in the end of the handle for attaching a cord. 

Plate xxx, 5, from Kushunuk, is a deerhorn spoon, oval on the inner 
side and straight on the outer side, with a short handle projecting spur- 
like on one side. 

Plate xxx, 8, from Kushunuk, is a spoon with a shovel-shape bowl 
and a projecting arm-like handle at one corner. 

Plate xxx, (), from Kushunuk, is a long-bowl, scoop-shape spoon 
without any distinct handle. 

A rudely made spoon of walrus ivory, from St Lawrence island, is 
represented in plate xxx, 15. It has a hole at one end of the handle for 
attaching a cord. Spoons similar in shape were obtained also on the 
Diomede islands. 

Folate xxx, 1, from Pastolik, is a spoon for extracting the marrow from 
bones. The handle is scalloped to receive the fingers; two parallel 
lines are etched along the borders of the scallops, which terminate below 
with the raven totem mark. A deerhorn marrow spoon from Kigik- 


tauik lias a rounded tip and scalloped handle, as shown in the accom- 
panying figure 20. 


The Tinne of the lower Yukon, adjoining the territory occupied by 
the Eskimo, are expert in woodworking. They fashion from spruce 
large numbers of wooden dishes, buckets, trays, and ladles, which they 
ornament with red and black paint, and the maker usually places bis 
totem mark on each utensil. They make trips down the river for the 
purpose of selling their products to the Eskimo, and travel as far as St 
Michael on the seacoast. In addition to this trade with the Eskimo, 
the articles manufactured by these people are distributed over a much 
greater extent of territory by means of intertribal trading among the 
Eskimo themselves. 

Besides the ware of this kind obtained from the Thine, the Eskimo 
make similar articles themselves, which are as a rule equally 7 well made. 
Examples of this class of work are shown in the ladles, dippers, and 
spoons already described and illustrated. The simplest form of tray 
or dish made by the Eskimo is that cut from a single piece of wood, 
and this variety of utensil is found over a wide area. 

Plate xxxi, 1, represents a rude bowl-shape wooden dish from Icy 
cape, slightly flattened below to enable it to stand safely. 

Figure 2 of the same plate, from St Lawrence island, is a slightly 
pear-shape, dipper-like dish, with a flattened bottom and a short, pro- 
jecting handle on one side. This is rather rudely made, as are all the 
articles obtained on this island. 

Figure 0, from the same island, is a tray-like dish with a long, 
obovate outline above, and slightly flattened below, with the handle 
projecting upright from one end. It is rudely made and is without 

Figure 0, from.the lower Yukon, is a handsomely made, tray-like dish, 
cut from a single piece and bordered around the edge, outside and in, 
with a band of red paint, inside of which are two parallel narrow black 
lines connected by similar straight crosslines. 

Figure 5, from Chalitinut, is a deep tray, oval in outline and having 
the head of an animal at one end, which serves as a handle. At the 
other end is a short, quadrate projection representing the animal's 
tail. It is bordered around by a band of red, succeeded by r an uncol 
ored area and a red line in a groove around the outside. The bottom, 
both within and without, is uncolored. 

Figure 1, from Big lake, is a smoothly finished, deep, tray-like dish. 
The rim is bordered with red and the inside is painted black. At one 
end projects a carving representing the head and neck of a human being. 
The ia<e is turned upward and a short string of beads hangs from each 
ear. Two white beads are inlaid to represent labrets, and a blue bead 
bangs from the pierced septum. A circular piece of wood was cut from 
tll( ' rear of the head, through which the latter was excavated, and the 



*&& ii '*V-; 


mi son] UTENSILS OF WOOD 71 

mouth and the eyes were pierced into the hollow interior. This orifiee 
is closed with a neatly fitted circular piece of wood. 

Figure 8 represents a very well made tray- shape dish from Big lake; 
it is oval in outline and is cut from a single block. Projecting from 
each end are carved figures of grotesque human heads which serve as 
handles; the eyes are represented by white beads, and others are set 
around the grooved upper edge of the dish. The lower surface is not 
painted. A groove around the inside, below the edge, is painted black, 
succeeded by a red border, below which is a narrow black line. The 
inside bottom is ornamented with a large figure of a quadruped with 
a short tail and a curious bird-like head marked with a crest. 

Another kind of shallow tray or dish is made from two pieces of 
wood, the bottom shaped like a truncated cone, the base of which is 
turned up and chamfered to fit in a groove on the inside of the rim. 

In most specimens the narrow, ledge-like rim is made from a thick 
strip of wood, softened by steam, and then bent around with the beveled 
ends overlapping and fastened together with wooden pegs. These are 
in general use on the American coast and on the islands of Bering sea. 

Specimens from St Lawrence island are made in the same way except 
that the overlapping ends are sewed together with whalebone. The 
ledge-like borders are beveled to a central ridge on the inside and are 
plane along their outer surfaces; in the middle on each side these bor- 
dering strips are thickened slightly, in order that in bending them the 
curves shall be thrown out regularly. 

A tray of this kind from iuilukhtulogumut, represented in plate 
xxxn, 3, is painted red around the rim and on the inside to cover the 
border. Just inside this is a narrow black line, and on the bottom is 
painted in black a grotesque figure of some mythologic animal having 
upraised hands with pierced palms; along one side of this figure is a 
row of five walruses and on the other five seals. 

Plate xxxn, 8, shows a handsomely made tray of similar character, 
also from Nulukhtulogumut. It is about fourteen inches in length and 
has inlaid around the beveled inner edge of the rim a series of eight 
neatly cut, almond-shape pieces of white stone. The rim, both outside 
and in. is painted red, as is the upper edge on the inside. Just below 
this, on the inside, are two parallel, narrow black lines, and painted in 
black on the bottom is a grotesque figure of some mythological animal, 
showing anatomical details. 

Plate xxxn, 2, from the same locality as the last, is similar to it in 
form and lias two mythological figures with heads like reindeer painted 
in black on the inside. 

Specimen number 45494, from Ikogmut (Mission), is a large tray 
measuring about 28 inches in length and 18 inches in width. It is 
painted red around the border, and h\s two parallel black lines inside. 
On the bottom appears an alligator-like coiled figure, inside of which 
a mythologic animal is painted in black. 


Plate xxxii, 7, from St Lawrence island, is another type of tray made 
from a broad, flat piece of spruce, which has a square groove cut across 
inside of each end: a strip of wood is bent upward to meet the end 
pieces, which are fitted into the grooves and held in place by means of 
thin strips of whalebone sewed through holes in both edges. This is 
a rude piece of work, showing none of the finish characteristic of speci- 
mens from the American coast. It is the only tray of this kind that 
was seen. 

Another style of utensil made in a similar manner to the trays, but 
with the overlapping ends sewed in two parallel seams by means of 
spruce roots, are the large tubs used for containing water, seal oil, 
berries, and other food supplies. 

Specimen number T5495 is a tub of this kind from Ikogmut. Its sides 
are 1U inches high above the upper edge of the bottom, which is exca- 
vated and of tray shape, with chamfered edges to fit into a groove arouud 
the inner edge of the side. The outline of the utensil is an elongated 
oval and measures twenty-two inches in length. Some tubs are larger 
than this; others are smaller and serve for many uses in the domestic 
economy of these people. One of the smaller sizes, from St Lawrence 
island (plate xxxii, 1), 9 inches long, 2£ inches deep, is the ordinary 
style of urine tub used by the Eskimo throughout the coast and islands 
visited. This with others of the same form obtained on St Lawrence 
island, have the overlapping ends united by sewing thiu strips of 
whalebone through slit like holes made for the purpose. The buckets 
used for carrying water are similar in form, the only difference being 
that they are provided with a handle or bail. 

A specimen from St Lawrence island (number 03237) has a bail made 
of a narrow, curved piece of bone cut from the jaw or rib of a whale and 
fastened at each end by whalebone strips passed through holes pierced 
in the edges of the bucket and in the ends of the handle. A small 
bucket from Cape Vancouver (plate xxxn, 6) has the overlapping ends 
of the sides fastened by means of two seams sewed with spruce roots. 
The bail is a thin, narrow strip of reindeer antler, with a hole pierced 
in each end; it is bent and sprung over the inwardly projecting ends 
of two short bone pegs which are inserted through the rim on each side. 

Plate XXXII, 4, from Kushunuk, is very similar to the preceding, 
except that the curved handle has the holes in its ends fitted over a 
round, slender rod of wood which extends across the top of the bucket, 
piercing the rim on each side. 

Figure *» of the same plate, from Kaialigamut, has the handle made 
from spruce roots, several turns of which are passed through holes 
made for I he purpose in the sides of the rim and then united by having 
tin- end wound around the strands crossing the top of the bucket and 
fastened at one side. Prom one side of the handle hangs a feather 
attached by a sinew cord. 



BELT FASTENERS ' seven-sixteenths' 



In connection with the round-bottom trays used to contain food, 
broad-head wooden pestles are used for crushing berries, seal fat, or 
livers of birds and fish with which various pastry mixtures are made. 

Plate xxxi, 3, from the lower Yukon, and plate xxxi, 7, from Ikog- 
mut, represent typical examples of these implements. They are made 
of wood, with large spreading heads and slightly convex lower sur- 
faces; they taper in somewhat conical form toward the handle, which 
in one consists of a large ring cut from the same piece as the head, 
and in the other has a flaring rim shaped like the bottom of a goblet. 


Figure 8, plate xxxnia, illustrates a hook for handling blubber, 
obtained on Nunivak island by Doctor Dall. It consists of a short 
wooden handle curved to a pistol-like grip at the upper end, and having 
a slot on the inside of the lower end, in which is set the butt of a 
sharp-pointed ivory spur, which is pierced with a large hole, through 
which passes a strong rawhide lashing, which also passes through the 
wooden handle a little above the insertion of the ivory point. The 
base of the ivory point is held in position in the slot by means of an 
ivory pin, which is inserted through a hole made in the handle and in 
the base of the hook. 

A curious article, intended for carrying small pieces of meat or other 
articles when traveling (figure 9, plate xxxniff), was obtained at Chalit- 
mut. It consists of a wooden handle about seven inches long, slightly 
curved along the middle and pierced near both ends to admit the points 
of a crescentic rod of deerhorn, truncated at one end and pointed at 
the other, which is passed through one end of the wooden handle and 
wedged in by a wooden pin; the pointed end tits into the hole in the 
opposite side. Just above this the handle is pierced to receive a raw- 
hide loop, by which it can be hung up or carried. Pieces of meat or 
other objects are placed upon the carrier by being slipped upon the 
rod, which is withdrawn for the purpose, after which it is returned and 
the point again inserted into the hole in which it fits. 


For carrying water or seal oil while making hunting trips at sea or 
on land small bags made from the stomachs or the bladders of reindeer, 
white whale, seal, or walrus are in common use. They hold from one 
to four quarts, and usually are provided with ivory nozzles, which are 
inserted in the narrow necks of the bags, and are then firmly lashed 
with sinew cord above the projecting ridge at the inner ends of the 
nozzles. In order that they may be filled easily these nozzles are 
made usually with a slightly flaring mouthpiece, which sometimes is 


surrounded by a flaring, somewhat spoon-shape rim. The orifice is 
usually rather small, and is provided with a wooden plug or stopper. 
Occasionally a funnel is used for filling water bags or small oil bags of 
this character. 

One specimen of this kind of nozzle from St Michael (figure 11, plate 
\ \ \ 1 1 \<i) is of wood. The top is of spoon shape, rather flat in outline, 
with one end in the form of a grotesque walrus head with small ivory 
tasks and eyes represented by inlaid ivory pegs; the other end repre- 
sents the hind flippers of the walrus, and the fore flippers are painted 
on the inside of the top near the edge. The broad top is excavated 
downward to the center, where it is perforated by a round hole. The 
lower surface is convex, with a round, projecting, stopper-like base for 
inserting in the mouth of the bag. 

Figure 5, plate xxxim/, from St Michael, is a spoon-shape nozzle, 
with a projection below through which the hole passes. It is provided 
with a wooden stopper attached to a sealskin cord which is fastened 
into a hole made in a handle-like projection at one end. 

Figure 6 of the same plate, from Nunvogulukhlugumut, is a some- 
what similar spoon-shape nozzle, with a wooden stopper attached to a 
cord fastened into a hole at one end. 

Figure 2, from Agiukchugumut, is a funnel-shape mouthpiece, with 
a wooden stopper inserted in a hole in the lower part of the wide- 
mouth upper end. The outside is marked with raven totem signs. 

Figure 3, from Auogogmut, has a funnel-shape mouthpiece, with its 
outer rim marked with raven totem signs. 

Figure 4, from the lower Kuskokwim, is a funnel-shape ivory 
nozzle, with the interior beveled. The outlines of a wolf and a white 
whale are incised on opposite sides of the opening in the interior. The 
outer border is marked with the raven totem sign. 

Figure 12, from Norton sound, is a nozzle made from walrus ivory; 
the surface is ornamented with etched lines and patterns, and the form 
of a seal's head and back appear in relief on two sides. 

Figure 7, from St Michael, is a conical mouthpiece without orna- 

Figure 10, from Sfugunugumut, is a water bag, with a funnel-like 
wooden nozzle- provided with a wooden stopper attached by a cord. 


Plate wxv, 2, represents a rake, from Sabotnisky, made from 
a piece of reindeer antler with the tips curved inward; the handle is 
worked down flat on the lower and flattened a little on the upper side, 
;iml has a notch for lashing it to a stout wooden haft, the lashing pass- 
ing through ;i hole in the handle. This implement is used for taking 
away the refuse in the fire hole of the Jcashim or for clearing away 
refuse material while building a house. It is used also for cleaning 



LAMPS AND POTS (one-fifth 


drift material from about the place where nets or fish traps are set in 
rivers or small streams. 


Small picks, made from bone or ivory, with wooden handles, are used 
by the women for digging the edible bulbous roots of a species of grass 
which grows on the plains from the Kuskokwim northward to Bering 

Figure 3, plate xxxmfr, illustrates one of three picks from Norton 
sound. It has a flat, wooden handle with two large scalloped incisions 
near the butt to aid in grasping with the hand; it is grooved and pierced 
by two holes. Tbe pick is made from a long, pointed, slender rod of 
walrus ivory, held in position against a groove along tbe front of the 
handle by rawhide lashings which pass through the holes. 

Figure 1 of the same plate shows a pick obtained on Nunivak island 
by Doctor Dall. It has a rounded, wooden handle, with a knob-like 
head, flattened in front to receive the pick and pierced by two holes for 
lashings. The pick is half of a walrus tusk, and its flattened side is 
bound against the front of the handle by rawhide lashings passing 
through two holes in the handle and two corresponding holes in the pick. 

Figure 2, from Cape Nome, is a small ivory handle for a root pick, 
grooved along the front to receive the pick and pierced by two holes 
for binding it in position ; a third hole, midway of the lower side of the 
handle, is intended for another lashing, to form a brace on the lower 
part of the pick. 


For the purpose of breaking large bones in order to extract the 
marrow, stone implements are used. These in some cases are simply 
hammer-like stones, used without handles, but they are frequently 
of very hard stone, ground to a smooth polish and fastened by thongs 
to a short handle of wood or other material. 

Plate xxxix, 3, represents a small hammer-shape bone breaker of pec- 
tolite from Cape Nome. It is somewhat oblong in cross section, with 
rounded corners. The sides are smoothly polished, but the ends are 
battered and worn down by use. 

At Point Hope there was seen a handsome stone breaker of clear 
white quartz. It weighed about a pound and a half and was polished 
to four very regular surfaces, with the coiners somewhat rounded, 
and was secured to a wooden handle by a rawhide lashing. 


The method of obtaining lire, common to so many savage races, 
from the heat developed by the friction of a stick worked with great 
rapidity on a piece of soft wood by means of a cord, was found in 
common use among the Eskimo throughout the region visited, and the 


people of the lower Yukon and thence southward to the Knskokwim 
were specially expert in its application. 

A small notch is cut in the lire stick, in which the point of the drill 
is inserted, while the upper end, which usually is capped with a piece 
of stone or bone, is held in the mouth; the rapid revolution of the drill 
develops sufficient heat to set tire to the dust produced by the friction 
which accumulates around the pivot of the drill. This fire is then 
transferred to a small piece of punk or tinder and fanned into a flame. 

Plate xxxiv, 3, represents a flat stick, from Norton sound, used for 
tire making. It is of dry spruce, having a deep groove along its 
upper surface, with a series of little notches opposite each other in 
pairs along the whole length; near one end are four small circular 
pits, where the drill has been used. Figure 2 of this plate shows the 
drill intended for use with the fire stick. It is a round, slightly 
tapering stick of spruce, about 19 inches in length, and has the upper 
end painted red; the bow also is made of spruce, and is about 16 
inches long, with a rawhide sealskin cord attached to the holes in the 
ends. With this is used the ordinary mouthpiece cap (figure l.of the 
same plate) slightly crescentic in form, with a square piece of white 
quartz set in its lower side. 

Figures 4, 5, 7, and 8 of plate xxxiv illustrate a set of fire-making 
implements, from Chalitmut, consisting of a large drill, the cap of which 
has a piece of obsidian set in its lower surface, a double-hand drill 
cord with handles made from the points of small walrus tusks, and a 
broad fire stick with a step like ledge on one side and several holes 
along the center where the drill has been used. 

In plate xxxiv, 9, is shown a broad fire stick obtained at Cape Van- 
couver. It is made with a ledge along one side which slopes inward 
a trifle toward the center, where holes have beeu bored in making fire. 
The surface of this specimen is covered with deep holes, showing that 
it has frequently been used. 

Plate xxxiv, G; represents a tinder box from St Michael. It is 6£ 
inches in length, and is made from a section of reindeer horn, truncated 
at each end and of roughly oval shape in cross section. It has a long, 
oval opening on one side, through which the interior was excavated. 

In addition to procuring fire by means of drills the Eskimo make 
common use of Hint and steel. Sometimes the steel is replaced by a 
piece of iron pyrites, but usually a fragment of an old knife-blade or 
other steel object is carried. The flint is held between the thumb and 
forefinger of the left hand, just above a little wad of tinder which fre- 
quently consists of fur plucked from a garment. The steel is grasped 
in t he right hand, and as the downward blow is struck the spark ignites 
the tinder, which is then transferred to the bowl of the pipe, or to a 
larger piece of tinder surrounded by fine shavingsif the operator wishes 
to kindle a tire. 

Of late years matches have been sold by the fur traders and are 
greatly prized by these people, who are always anxious to obtain them. 








For beating snow from boots, clothing, and other articles made of 
far, the western Eskimo use a long, flattened piece of bone, ivory, or 
deerhorn. Some of these are nearly straight, while others are more 
or less curved. 

Figure 21, 1, represents a beater of this kind, from Sabotnisky, made 
from walrus ivory, smaller at one end, where a strip of wood is lashed 
on the inner side by means of rawhide cord in order to give a firmer 
grip. This implement is suboval in cross section and is much heavier 
than is usually the case. 

Fig. 21— Snow beaters (&). 

A strongly curved beater from the lower Yukon (figure 21, 2) is made 
from split deerhorn with a knob, carved into the form of a man's head, 
terminating the handle. A snow beater brought from St Lawrence 
island is exactly like the one from the lower Yukon in shape and mate- 
rial, including the knob at the end of the handle, except that the latter 
is not carved. 

The specimen from Sledge island shown in figure 21, 4, is made from 
walrus ivory, with a rounded wooden handle fitted upon one end; on 
the inside it has a central ridge and on the back is a broad, shallow 

A long snow beater from Cape Prince of Wales (figure 21, 5) is made 
of a thin piece of whalebone, narrowed a little toward the handle and 




pierced with a scries of holes, through which cords are passed and 
wrapped around the handle to give a stronger grip. A double cord, 
about two inches in length, with a knob made from a little roll of cloth 

at its upper end, is attached to the 
handle, and serves for buttoning this 
implement to the belt so that it may 
be carried conveniently. 

Another specimen from Cape Prince 
of Wales (figure 21, 3) consists of a 
long, tapering piece of ivory, nearly 
flat on one side and beveled to three 
surfaces on the other; the handle has 
a series of notches along each border. 
Strongly curved beaters of deer- 
horn, similar to those found on St 
Lawrence island and the lower Yukon, 
were observed in use among the na- 
tives of the eastern Siberian coast. 


In the region visited, the Eskimo use 
wooden or bone shovels for clearing 
away snow from around their houses 
or for excavating the snowdrifts. 

Picks of walrus ivory or deerhorn 
are also used for removing frozen snow, 
for cutting holes in the ice for fishing, 
and for other purposes. 

A fine wooden snow shovel from 
Point Barrow is represented in plate 
xxxv, 4. The blade is broad, nearly 
flat, and formed of three pieces, held 
together by means of lashings of 
whalebone passed through holes bored 
for that purpose; the lower edge of 
the wood is fitted by a tongue into a 
groove, in a sharp, fiat piece of walrus 
ivory, which is fastened by a series of 
wooden pegs. A blue bead is inlaid 
on the upper part of the blade near 
the handle. The handle is 18 inches 
in length and subtriangular in cross 
section; the upper end is bound with 
braided cord of sinew, to give a firm grip for the hands, while on the 
lower end. Dear the blade, is a, lashing of whalebone. 

Figure 22, 2, from St Lawrence island, is a rude shovel made from a 

Flo. 22 Snow shovels (,'._.)• 



SPOONS AND LADLES 'about two-ninths; 



piece of the jawbone of a whale, worked down to a thin, flat blade, 
roughly rounded in outline. On its upper edge is a projection to which 
a stout wooden handle is fastened by means of a strong lashing of 
rawhide, which passes through two grooves and two holes in the blade. 

Figure I'll, 1, from Ikogmut, is a wooden shovel with a long. Mat blade 
and curved handle carved from one piece. The back surface of the 
blade is slightly convex, with a medium ridge which extends upward to 
the handle. The back and the 
portion of the handle where 
held are painted red. On the 
inner surface of the blade, 
near the handle, is the private 
mark of the owner, consisting 
of an incised circle and two 
straight grooves extending ob- 
liquely outward from its upper 
edge to the shoulders of the 
blade. ' 

Plate xxxv, 1, represents an 
ice pick obtained at Point Bar 
row. It is made from a small 
walrus tusk attached to a flat 
wooden handle by strong raw- 
hide lashing passed through a 
hole in the handle and two 
holes in the butt of the pick. 
The handle is wrapped in two 
places with braided sinew cord, 
to afford a firm grip for both 
hands, above which are slight 
projections of the wood to pre- 
vent it from slipping. 


.Mallets of wood or deerhorn 
are used for breaking ice from 
the framework of fish traps 

and sledge runners, for driving small pegs, and for other similar 

Figure 23, l. from Sabotnisky, is a deerhorn mallet about 12 inches 
in length, with one end worked down to a flattened handle and the 
other having a rounded knob truncated upon one face. The handle is 
pierced for the reception of a rawhide cord, by menus of which the 
mallei can be suspended from the wrist. 

Figure 23,3, from [kogmut, is a small wooden mallet with a slender 
rodlike handle about 5J inches in length: the head is made from a 

Fig. 23 Mallets (J). 


rounded growth of wood which had formed an excrescence on the 
branch which scrvi's as tlic liandlc. 

Figure 23, -. from Sabotnisky, is a small deerhorn mallet with a han- 
dle .">.', inches in length, pierced at its outer end for a cord and with 
the head rounded above and truncated below. In the front arecarved 
two Large, eye-like cavities with a rudely shaped nose and a slightly 
incised groove to represent the mouth, giving the front a resemblance 
:<> a grotesque human face. 



I n former times the tools used by the Eskimo tor working ivory, bone, 
and deerhorn were chipped from flint or other hard stones, and some- 
times for etching or scoring deeper lines the canine teeth of small 
mammals were used, mounted on a short handle. Since iron and steel 
have become common among them, however, tools made from these 
metals have superseded to a great extent the more primitive imple- 
ments. The tools now in use are scrapers, scoring or etching imple- 
ments, wedges for splitting the material, and narrow pieces of thin iron 
with serrated edges for use as saws. 

Figure 9, plate xxxvia, is a small saw obtained at Port Clarence by 
Dr T. H. Bean. The blade is set in a handle in a maimer similar to 
that of a table knife. 

Figure 10 of the same plate is a saw from Cape Prince of Wales, 
evidently modeled from those in use by white men. It is 1L inches 
long; the blade is a long, narrow strip of irou with teeth cut in the lower 
edge; it is riveted into slots in small round pieces of ivory which are 
fastened into a wooden frame. A wooden rod extends across the 
middle of the frame into which it is dovetailed; a double cord of raw- 
hide is stretched across the frame, between the two strands of which 
a piece of bone is inserted for twisting the cords and thereby tighten- 
ing the blade of the saw in the frame. 

Another style of saw is made by inserting a narrow piece of iron with 
a serrated edge in a slot cut in a long piece of ivory, horn, or bone. 
Sometimes these saws are mere strips of iron with teeth cut in one 
edge and without either handle or frame. 

Figure 6, plate wxvia, represents a frame for one of these saws from 
Qnalaklit. It is made of reindeer horn and has a projecting spuron its 
upper side, t he same end being bent downward to serve as a handle. 

Figure 7 of this plate is a scoring or etching implement from the 
Yukon district. The iron point is wedged (irmly into a slit in the end 
of the handle, which has a conical hole on one side, having evidently 
served ;i^ a cap for a drill. 

Figure 8, from ('ape Darby, is a handle for one of these tools, made 
from two pieces of bone with a slot for fitting in an iron point; the two 
pieces are riveted together by wooden pins, and a rawhide cord is 





wrapped tightly around the lower end to bold the iron point firmly in 


Figure 3 is an iron pointed awl, from Cbalitmut, used as an etching 
tool in ivory working as well as for a bodkin. 

Figure 1, from St Lawrence island, is a similar tool of slightly differ- 
ent construction, being made with a slot on one side of the handle into 
which the end of the blade is placed; a wooden plug is then fitted over 
the slot, and the end wrapped around with a sinew cord to bold the 
blade and plug in position. From St Lawrence island another imple- 
ment of this kind was obtained; it is made in the ordinary style, with 
the blade wedged into a bole cut in the bone handle. 

From the same locality came another specimen (figure 4, plate 
x\\VK() which has the blade fitted into a slot cut in the side of the 
wooden handle, and held in position by a wrapping of whalebone, one 
end of which is set in a slit in the handle. This is one of the rudest 
implements of the kind obtained. 

Figure 5, from St Lawrence island, is an ivory working tool with a 
curved blade made of iron set in a notch in the end of the handle. 
Figure 2, from St Michael, is another style of ivory working tool. It 
has a curved handle with a small iron blade set in a slot near the end 
of the handle on the lower side. 


Drills are used for piercing holes in bone, ivory, reindeer antler, or 
wood. They consist of a wooden shaft with a point of stone or iron 
merely inserted in the wood or sometimes held thinly in place by wrap- 
ping with sinew or rawhide. A cap is fitted over the upper end, and 
the shatt is made to revolve rapidly by means of a stout rawhide cord 
passed twice around it and sawed backward and forward by the oper- 
ator who grasps handles in the ends of the cords. The large drills, 
used for boring holes in wood when manufacturing the frames of umiaks, 
kaiaks, and sledges, or in bone for sledge runners, are worked by two 
men, one of whom presses down on the cap of the stem and keeps it in 
position while the other works the cord. 

Smaller drills, with finer points, for more minute work are operated 
by one man. a bow being usci] instead of a loose cord, which enables 
the operator to use his left hand to hold the shaft in position by pre 
ing on the Cap. If the material be hard and difficult to drill the cap 
piece Lfl grasped in the teeth and both hands used to work the bow ; or 
sometimes, if a small object is to be drilled, it is held in the lefl hand, 
the cap is held in the teeth, and the drill bow worked by the right 

Plate WWII. 8, obtained at Point Barrow by Lieutenant Bay, is 
a large drill with a wooden stem, ami with a well-made Hint point 
inserted in its lower end and held fast by a wrapping of sinew cord. 

It is intended to be \\^{>a\ with the double hand eord. 

Figure 7 of the same plate, also obtained by Lieutenant Ray from 
18 eth — <; 


the same locality, has a flint point mounted in a hollowed bone ferrule 
to lit on the lower end of the shaft. 

Figure 10, from Norton Round, is a drill having the irou point 
mounted in a bone head, the base of which is divided by a wedge- 
Bhape slot in which the wooden shaft is mounted and held in place by 
a wrapping of rawhide. 

Figure '•». from ('ape Nome, is also an iron-point drill, mounted simi- 
larly to the preceding except that the wooden shaft is held in position 
in the bom 4 head by rivets. 

Figure 3, from St Lawrence island, is a drill with a broad, flat point 
<»f iron inserted in the wooden shaft without any wrapping or other 

Figure 1, from St Lawrence island, is somewhat similarly mounted, 
but the point of the shaft is tapered down and wrapped with a strip of 

Figure 5, from Norton sound, has a greenstone point mounted in 
the end of a wooden shaft and held in place by a wrapping of sinew. 
Another specimen, from Ilotham inlet, is provided witk a finely made 
nephrite point. 

Figure 6, from Paimut, is a similarly made greenish stone drill 

Figure 2, from St Lawrence island, is another small drill. It has 
the lower end of the stock narrowed down and wrapped with sinew to 
hold the point in position. 

The large canine teeth of bears are commonly used for the cross 
handles at the ends of the drill cords 5 they are drilled crosswise 
through the middle, and the cord is then passed through and fastened 
at each end. Figure 21, from Norton sound, is an example of these 
handles. Various other forms of drill handles are used; some are 
made from the wing-bones of waterfowl; others are carved from deer- 
horn or ivory to represent seals, fish, or other forms. 

Figure 1 l,from Kotzebue sound, shows one of a pair of handles made 
from smooth bars of walrus ivory, slightly curved on their outer surface 
and having a double curve on the inside, in which the fingers rest 
when grasping it. 

Figure L5, from St Michael, is another of these handles carved from 
walrus ivory to represent two heads of a white bear. 

Figure 20, from Paimut, represents a pair of handles, each in the 
form of a fish-like creature with the tail of a white whale. Caps for 
drill shafts to be used with double-hand cords are made usually with 
the top smoothly rounded; sometimes they are large enough only for 
one hand, but ordinarily are made for grasping with both. Nearly all 
ot these objects are provided with a hole in one end for. attaching to 

the drill cord when not in use. They are generally made of wood, with 
;i piece of stone set in the lower side, in which is a small conical depres- 
sion i<> ! ecen e 1 lie top of the shaft. 




boh] DRILL -CAPS <S3 

Figure 30, from St Lawrence island, is a piece of walrus tusk, about 
five inches in length, roughly oblong in shape, with a conical depression 
in one side for receiving the top of the shaft. 

Figure 29, from the same locality, is another rough piece of walrus 
tusk, made with a conical depression in each side for receiving the top 
<>f the shaft. These two are the rudest implements of this description 
that were obtained. 

Figure 27 is a cap having the wood rudely carved into the form of a 
seal, with a square hole through the tail, in which the drill cord can be 
tied when not in use. This specimen is from the Kuskokwim. 

Figure 22, from Norton sound, is a cap with an oval piece of white 
quartz set in the lower side and the wooden portion carved in the form 
of a wolf fish. 

Figure 28, from Cape Nome, has a square piece of grayish-white 
stone set in its lower surface, and the two long arms, one at each end, 
are carved to represent the heads of white bears. This drill cap is 
intended to be used either singly, with the crossbar mouthpiece, or by 
grasping the ends with the hands. Figure 27, from the Kuskokwim, 
is a similar cap, having inserted a piece of stone, mottled green, black, 
and white in color. 

Figure 23, from Agiukchugumut, is made in the form of a seal, with 
a hard, milky white, flat stone set in its lower surface. 

Figure 25, obtained on Nunivak island by Dr W. H. Dall, is made 
from an oval piece of white quartz with a conical depression in its lower 
sin face. A groove extends around the side, in which is fastened a raw- 
hide cord with a loop at one end to which the drill cord can be fastened. 

Figure 24, from Sabotnisky, is a long, oval, green and black stone, 
having the usual conical pit in one side; this, like the preceding, is 
made for holding in one hand. 

Figure 20, from Cape Nome, is a long, rather slender cap or handle 
of wood, having a small, square piece of stone set in its lower surface 
and provided with a projecting block on its upper side for grasping 
with tin; teeth; it is carved at each end to represent a wolf's head, and 
is intended for use with either a large or a small drill. A cap obtained 
at Gape Darby is also made to serve for both kinds of drills. 

The caps to be used exclusively with the small drills, worked with a 
bow, are always provided with a projecting block on the upper sur- 
face lor grasping with the teeth, and are much more elaborately made 
than are those used with the Larger drills. They are commonly some- 
what croceiitic in form, and have a piece of stone or lead set in t he con- 
vex lower sui face; where stone i^ used it is cut usually into a square or 

rounded outline and is neatly inlaid. Two specimens, how ever, are of 
wall us ivory and are without any stone setting, the conical depression 

being made directly in the material of the cap. of these, figure mis 

from Cape Noun' and figure 17 from the Diomede islands. 

Figure LI, from the lower Yukon, has a crescentic outline and is 
carved on the convex surface al oneend to represenl a human face and 


at the Other the head Of some animal. A round piece of stone is 
inserted in the center. 

From Yukon river and Nunivak island were obtained rudely made 
specimens similar in character to those used with the double -hand 
cord, except that they have the hack carved to permit Of their being 
cd in the teeth. 

Figure 13, from Kotzebue sound, is a crescentic piece of wood with a 
square stone inlaid m its lower surface; a crossbar of wood for grasp- 
ing in the teeth is fastened on the upper surface by means of strong 
rawhide wrappings. 

Figure 1. from Gape Nome, is a crescentic piece of wood pierced 
with a triangular hole near each end, and a round stone is set in the 

Figure IS, from Norton sound, is a crescentic piece of wood with a 
square piece of iron set in the center, and a crescentic incision on each 
side of the thin upper border to give a hold for the teeth. 

Figure 1 ( .>, from Norton sound, is a long, slender cap, having a gro- 
tesque head on each end. 

Figure 12, from the Diomede islands, is strongly crescentic, with a 
high ledge inside for grasping with the teeth, and with blue beads 
inlaid on each side of the stone center. 

Drill bows, some of which are nearly straight while others are 
strongly curved, measuring from 12 to 18 inches in length, are in com- 
mon use over all of the region visited. They are square, suboval, or 
triangular in cross section, and commonly have one or more of the sur- 
faces covered with etchings representing various incidents in the life of 
the owner, such as a record of the animals killed by him on various 
hunts, the number of skins of certain animals he has possessed, or 
other personal data. 

Figure 7, plate xxxxib, from Sledge island, is a slender, nearly 
straight ivory bow, with one surface etched to represent houses, people, 
and umiaks. 

Figure 10 of the same plate, from the same locality, is triangular in 
cross section, and the three sides are covered with a great number of 
figures and scenes. 

Figure 11. from the Diomede islands, is a nearly straight ivory rod 
with the surfaces etched. 

Figure 3, from Cape Nome, is triangular in cross section and has the 
three sides covered with a multitude of small etched figures. 

Figure 9, from Gape Darby, is triangular in cross section and has 
one side etched w it li figures. 

Figure L, from Gape Darby, is oblong in section and strongly curved, 
with figures etched on two of its surfaces. Figure 2 shows a specimen 

from the Same place that is etched on all of its sides. 

D rom Norton sound, is oblong in cross section, with two of 









Figure 6, from Norton sound, has one end term mating in a figure 
representing the head of some animal and with etched lines and pat- 
terns along two sides. 

Figure 4, from Norton sound, is a curved piece of deer antler, quad- 
rangular in outline and etched on three of its sides. 

Figure 8. from Point Hope, is triangular in cross section, with the 
angles cut into scalloped outlines. 


For whittling, carving, and finishing all kinds of woodwork the 
Eskimo use what is commonly called a "crooked knife," the curved 
blade of which varies from one to three inches in length, and is made 
usually from hoop iron or some similar scrap, but sometimes a portion 
of a steel knife blade is cut and bent for this purpose. The handle of 
bone, horn, or wood tapers downward to a point, and is from four to 
fifteen inches in length. This knife is the principal tool used in fashion- 
ing and finishing a great variety of boxes, dishes, trays, tubs, sj (ear- 
shafts, bows, arrows, and frames for umiaks, kaiaks, sledges, and other 
woodwork. The wood is first blocked out with an adze, after which it 
is cut into the desired shape, smoothed, and finished by patient labor 
with the knife. It is surprising to notice the dexterity with which this 
tool is used, and the excellent work produced with it. 

One of these knives (plate nxxviii, 20), from Norton sound, has the 
blade set in a groove in the inner edge of the handle near the end, and 
with no other fastening. The handle is wrapped with spruce roots 
just above the blade, in order to give a better grip for the hand. The 
under side of the handle has a conical depression, showing that it has 
been used as a cap for a small drillhead. 

Figure 31 of the same plate, from Nunjvak island, is the rudest of 
all the knives of this kind that were obtained. It has a short, thick 
piece of iron wedged into a slot in the handle, while the inner end of the 
blade is held in place by sinew lashing. The lower side of the handle 
has a small conical depression, marking its use as a cap for a drillhead. 

From St Lawrence island were obtained two knives of this descrip- 
tion, made of long, tapering pieces of iron set into wooden handles, but 
in a manner different from the foregoing. One of these (plate wwiu, 
-~ lias the inner end of the blade set in a dee)), flat hole in the end of 
the handle, somewhat as the blade is set in an ordinary table knife. 
The handle is oval in cross section, with a slightly enlarged truncated 
end, and i- only about lour inches in length. Next to the blade is a 

groove, which serves to receive a sinew wrapping. 

Flat** X\ \ \ in, L'i), shows a knife of similar shape, but the end of the 
de i< lit ted into a gore-shape slol sunk in the side of the handle, into 

which is fitted a thin strip of wood, filling it out so that the outline is 
continuous with the rest of the handle. Over this is wrapped a sinew 
cord for holding t he blade in place. 

Plate XXXVIII, 30, from KulwOgUWigUmut, is a knife with a bone 


handle about four inches long, crossed with diagonal, zigzag, etched 

lines, and scored with a series of straight lines running its length, with 
a groove around it near each end. In the end of the handle is wedged 
a short, straight, iron blade about two inches in length with a heavy 
back and a sharp edge. At the other extremity of the handle is a 
rawhide loop fastened into a hole by a wedge. 

Figure 25 of this plate, from IJotham inlet, lias the blade fastened 
to the handle by two iron rivets; the upper surface of the handle is 
oved lor about four inches next the blade to enable a firm grasp; 
the under surface of the handle is excavated. In the handle two holes 
are pierced for fastening the end of a cord by which a leather sheath is 

Figure 22, from IJotham inlet, has the blade attached in the same 
manner as the preceding and has a handle of similar shape. Instead of 
grooves, as in the preceding specimen, this knife has a series of holes 
pierced along the front of the handle extending upward for about four 
inches, through which are passed two rawhide cords; these are wound 
around a narrow strip of wood, holding it in place agaiust the front 
edge of the handle to give a better grip for the hand. Attached to the 
handle is a leather sheath. 

Figure 19, from Norton sound, has a handle of two parts; the lower 
piece, to which the blade is riveted, is of bone, and the upper of wood. 
They are neatly joined by a close wrapping of spruce root. 

Figure 28, from St Michael, has the blade fitted into a groove or slit 
made in the inner edge of the bone handle, which is wrapped with a 
stout rawhide cord to hold the blade in place, and has three ships 
etched upon it. 


A flat, round-pointed, chisel-like implement of bone is in common 
use for making incised grooves in wood preparatory to splitting it for 
use in the manufacture of various articles. Specimens of these tools 
were obtained at different localities from the mouth of the Kuskokwim 
northward to Kot/ebue sound. 

Plate wxvii i, 14, represents a typical implement of this kind from 
Kot/ebue sound. It is made of bone and has a sinew cord forming a 
loop lor suspension passed through a hole near the head of the instru- 
ment. Another specimen, from Kushunuk (plate xxxviii, lii), is similar 
in form, but slenderer. 

Plate \\\\ m, L6, from Sledge island, is a small tool of this character 
made of reindeer horn. It is very slender; the handle is bent at an 
angle with tin-, shank and has the top neatly carved in the form of a 
reindeer hoof. The thin, narrow point is used for making small inci- 
sions in the wood of arrow or spear shafts for the purpose of inserting 
feathers, also for making little slits in which are fastened the ends of 
sinew wrappings of spears, arrows, or other implements. 





and notches, Figure 2, also from the lower Yukon, has the end cut 
into two notches with two points of different shape, one on each side. 
Figure 5, Prom the lower Yukon, shows still another Conn. 

Plate \\\\ in. 11. from the lower Yukon, is a bent piece of deerhorn 
having a screw-driver set in one end: the other end is fashioned into 
notches to form a finishing tool. 

Plate xwviii. 10, from Kot/ebue sound, is a small piece of fossil 
mammoth ivory, with a rounded handle and a knob-like head, the lower 
surface of which is convex in shape and smoothly polished. The sides 
and the top of the handle are provided with hollows to receive the 
thumb and the first two fingers. 


Wedges of wood, bone, deerhorn, and ivory are used for splitting 
wood; they vary considerably in size, but the majority are from six to 
eight inches in length. Heavy wooden mauls are used for driving them. 

Plate xxxix, 5, shows a wedge, from the Diomede islands, made 
from the butt of an old walrus tusk, beveled from both sides. Around 
the lower end is a broad, sunken groove for the attachment of a handle, 
thus permitting the use of the implement as an ax. 

Plate xxxix. 6, represents a small wooden wedge used in making 
splints for fish traps. It has a short groove, painted red, on each side, 
which is said to represent the track of a land otter in the snow and 
to be the private mark of the maker. Two more of these wedges were 
obtained from the same man, one of them being about five inches and 
the other eleven inches in length. 

Plate xxxix, 4, represents a deerhorn wedge from the lower Yukon. 
From Point Hope was obtained a rude wedge, made from a piece of 
the jawbone of a whale and beveled on one of its two sides. 

Plate xxxix, 2, from Xunivak island, obtained by Dr W. H. Dall, is 
a curiously shaped wedge of reindeer horn, having a projecting prong 
on oik 1 side. In the middle is fastened a little tuft of reindeer hair by 
means of a pe£ inserted in a hole made for the purpose. 

Plate xxxix, 7. from St Lawrence island, is a wedge of walrus ivory. 

Plate X xx\, 3, from liotham inlet, is a heavy maul or beetle made 
from ;i section of fossil mammoth tusk about 18 inches in length. 


Straighteners for arrowshafts are in common use throughout western 
Alaska, and the collection contains a large series of implements of this 

kind. Deerhorn and walrus ivory are the materials commonly employed 
in their manufacture, and considerable ingenuity is shown in shaping 

t hem. 

Plate XX, 9, from the lower Yukon, is a small, roughly made shaft 
si raightener of deerhorn, as is figure n of t he same plate, from the same 





locality. A specimen (figure 11) from (iolofnin bay, made from deer- 
horn, has one end. shaped to represent the head of a deer. Figure I. 
from Cape Nome, has a well-carved head of a reindeer on the larger 

end. with the eyes formed by inlaid beads; the other end terminates 
in a representation of a hoof. 

Plate XX,, 3, from Cape Nome, has the larger end terminating in the 
form of the head and forelegs of a white bear, the eyes being repre- 
sented by blue beads. 

Plate xl, 12, from Sledge island, is of deerhorn, and has the head of 
a deer carved upon its larger end with blue beads for eyes. Another 
Bpecimen from Sledge island is of ivory and shows signs of great 
age. It is the only one of these objects showing much effort at orna- 
mentation by etched figures; scattered over the surface a number of 
reindeer are represented. Plate XL, 2, from the Diomede islands, is 
of ivory and has two bears' heads rudely carved on the larger end. 
Figure 7, rom Hotham inlet, is a beautiful specimen representing a 
reindeer iu a recumbent position, with the legs folded beneath the body. 
Figure 8, from Kotzebue sound, is another line carving, representing a 
reindeer lying down with the legs folded beneath the body; the horns 
are represented by two spikes of iron set in the head; the eyes were 
represented by beads, which have been lost. Figure 10, from Point 
Hope, has the larger end rounded into a knob like termination which 
i- crossed along its upper edge by a series of incised grooves. Speci- 
mens similar in form to that shown in figure G were found over a wide 
area and seem to be the most general type of these implements. 

Plate xl, 1, from Norton sound, made from deerhorn, and figure o, of 
wood, from the same locality, are somewhat similar in form to straight- 
eners for arrowshafts, but are used for straightening and setting 


A tool made from the chisel-shape tooth of the beaver is used as a 
gouge for making the hollows for the fingers in throwing- sticks, for 

cutting grooves, and for excavating hollows in fashioning boxes, masks, 
Spoons, and wooden dishes. The smooth back of the tooth is used also 

as a polishing instrument for finishing woodwork, and the carved outer 
edge serves for sharpening knives by rubbing it sharply along the 

blades. These tools are still in use, but to some extent they have been 
superseded by implements of steel and iron, since these metals have 

become more easily obt a i liable. Plate WWlll, 2 1 , from < 'halitinut, is 

a t\ pica! example of these Imntements, having a beaver tooth set in a 

wooden handle and held firmly in place by a wrapping of rootlets. 

Figure 25,3, from Port Clarence, is a beaver tooth for sharpening 
steel or iron knives, set in a short wooden haft with a wrapping about 

the end. figure 25, 2, from Norton sound, is a l>ea\ er toot h knife 
Sharpener, with a Strip of 'aimed skin, about seven inches iii length, 



[BTH. ANN. 18 

fastened about the center for attaching it to the belt. Figure 25, 1, 
from Norton sound, is ;i similar implement, with a strip of skin lashed 
to t lie bu1 t wit li a sinew cord tor attaching it to a belt. 

Plate \ wyiii, 23, from the lower Yukon, is a double-end tool of this 
kind, having a tooth set in each extremity of the handle. 


Implements for Stripping bark from birch trees are used in Alaska 
wherever those trees are found. 

Plate XXXVIIl, 20, represents two of these tools from the lower 

Yukon- they are 
intended to be 
used together and 
are coupled by a 
rawhide cord. One 
of them has a 
short, knife- like 
blade, which pro- 
jects a little more 
than half an inch 
from the handle 
and has two sharp 
points which are 
used to mark the 
outlines of the 
sheets of bark to 
be stripped from 
the tree; the han- 
dle consists of two 
pieces of spruce, 
between which the 
blade is inserted 
and is kept in 
place by strong 
wrappings of raw 
hide cord. The 
other implement is a long, knife-like piece of bone, on which the raven 
totem is rudely cut. After the birch-bark has been scored by the first- 
described implement, \\\e, point of the other is inserted between the 
bark and (he wood and forced around the trunk of the tree to separate 
and remove t he bark. 

Plate \ wyiii. 17. from the head of Norton sound, is a long bone knife 
lor removing birch-bark from the tree. It is sharpened at the point 
and on one edge; the butl is heavily etched with zigzag patterns and 
wit li the raven totem mark. 

Fig. 25 — Knife sharpeners (, r ;J. 










Celts and axes of nephrite or other hard stone are fashioned by 
grinding into shape and sometimes by pecking, and are finished by 
grinding or friction with other stones. Knife blades, lance points, and 
whetstones are also made from these substances in a similar manner. 
The stone celts, axes, and wedges are mounted on handles of wood and 
deerhorn and are very skilfully used by the Eskimo for hewing and 
surfacing logs and planks, although at the present time they are being 
displaced by iron and steel tools obtained from white traders. In a 
Jcashim on the lower Yukon a plank was seen that was made many 
years ago by use of a stone adz. It was 25 feet long and four or five 
inches thick. The surface bore so many marks made by the hacking of 

F T0 . 20— Flint fl.ikrrs (]). 

stone adzes that it looked as if it might have been cut by beavers. 
Hint knives, spearheads, and arrowpoints are made by llaking. The 
flakers are made of small, rod-like pieces of deerhorn, wood, or ivory, 
fastened into a slot at the end of a handle, usually of ivory or deer- 
liom, with wrappings of sinew or rawhide cord. 

Figure 26, .'>, represents one of these flaking implements from Kot/.e- 
bne sound. Figure 26, 1, is another linker from the sumo Locality, with 
;i handle made from fossil mammoth ivory. Figure 26 2, from Hotham 
inlet, and figure 26, 1, from-Poinl Eope, represent flakers with similar 
handles. Figure 26, 5, from Kotzebue sound, has a handle of deerhorn. 

Formerly small fragments of Hint were used for scraping down the 
surfaces of bone, ivory, or deerhorn articles in tin- course of manufac- 
ture, but for tin's purpose steel or iron implements are now iii common 

Use, and naturally produce much more satisfactory results. 


Plate \\\ix. II. from Norton sound, is a wooden handle adz, with 
a deerhom head in wliieh is fitted a point of hard, greenish colored 
stone, ground to a sharp edge. Plate \\\i\, 10, also from Norton 
sound, is another wooden-handle adz, with a deerhorn head in which 
is fitted a small, greenstone point, with a smoothly ground edge. 
These two specimens ate halted in the style commonly employed before 
iron was brought to the country by the Russians. 

A considerable variety of stone blades or celts for use as adzes was 
obtained from points between the lower Kuskokwim and Kotzebue 

Plate \\\i\. 12, from Sledge island, is a fine large celt of nephrite, 
measuring 9 inches in length, 3. inches in width, and an inch and a 
quarter in thickness; it is roughly quadrate in cross section, and the 
point is smoothly beveled on both sides to a ehisel-shape edge. Plate 
\\\i\. S. from Cape Prince of Wales, is a small adz blade of nephrite 
intended for setting into the bone or deerhorn head of ithe implement. 
Plate xxxix, 3, from Cape Xome, is a pale, olive-greenish colored stone 
adz, having two grooves around its upper end to admit rawhide lash- 
ings, by means of which it can be attached directly to a haft. 

I Mate xxxix, 11, from the lower Kuskokw:im, is a curiously shaped 
celt, partly ground and partly pecked into shape; the point is roughly 
flattened on one side and oval on the other. A groove is pecked 
around the upper part of the head, by means of which, with the 
shoulder lower down on the same face, the head is attached directly 
to the handle and secured by rawhide lashings. 

Plate xxxix, 13, represents a celt from the lower Yukon, somewhat 
similar in style to the last specimen. Plate xxxix, 9, from the lower 
Yukon, is an adz head made from slate. 

Figure 1 of the same plate is an adz handle from the lower Yukon, 
made from reindeer antler. It has been sawed from the lower end 
nearly to the head, and a piece of wood inserted for the purpose of 
enlarging the shaft and affording a better grip for the hand. Another 
piece of horn, having a slot in the lower end for the reception of a 
stone blade, is bound firmly to it by rawdiide cords. 

On one of the Diomede islands a piece of nephrite was obtained from 
which a\ heads had been cut. It was said to have been brought from the 
Kaviak peninsula. It measures 0j inches broad and 2^ inches in thick 
ness. The longest edge is smoothly polished and has a coarse groove 
down the center, showing where a roughed out celt has been detached. 

Nephrite is used largely for making whetstones; slate is also in com- 
mon use for this purpose, and other hard stones are occasionally 
employed, A nephrite whetstone from Kotzebue sound (plate lxv, 1) 
has a deep longitudinal groove on each side, terminating in a hole 4 
through which is passed a loop of sealskin for attaching the implement 

to the \\ aisl belt. 

Figure 25, 5, shows a smaller stone of similar character from Hnalak- 
lit. The specimen shown in figure 25, 1, was obtained on St Lawrence 















island; it is made of slate, and is pierced at one end for the reception 
of a sinew cord. 


Large obloog bags or satchels made of skin are in common use 
among the Eskimo for holding tools and implements of all kinds, 
including arrow and spear points, and other odds and ends which may 
have been accumulated. They have slightly arched handles of ivory or 
bone stretched lengthwise across the open mouth. Peculiarly shaped, 
long, narrow wooden boxes are also used for the same purpose; these 
are often carved into a variety of forms with great ingenuity. 

One of these tool bags from Cape Darby is illustrated in plate XLI, 
7. It is made from the skin of four wolverine heads, with a bottom of 
tanned sealskin with the hair side turned inward. The walrus ivory 
handle, 17 inches in length, has etched along its lower surface repre- 
sentations of thirty-four wolverine skins, and the ends are carved to 
form heads of animals; the upper surface is plain, with the exception 
of a groove in one side. 

Plate xli, 2, is an ivory bag handle from Sledge island, which has 
etched on it the representation of eight tails of whales and numerous 
wolverine, fox, and wolf skins. 

Figure 1 of the same plate, also of ivory, from Kotzebue sound, has 
scalloped edges, and etched upon the convex surface are the outlines 
of whales and skins of wolverines and otters. On the convex side is 
represented a man pointing a gun at a bear, seven other bears, a man 
in a kaiak pursuing a whale, and another shooting waterfowl with a 
bow and arrow. 

Figure <> of this plate, from Kotzebue sound, has both surfaces covered 
with etchings of the skins of various fur-bearing animals. 

Figure 5, from Point Hope, is a slender handle of deerhorn, having 
;i series of etched figures of deer and men along one side and terminat- 
ing in the head of ;i deer at one end and in a sharp point to represent 
the tail at the other. 

Figure l shows an ivory handle from Eotham inlet, with the con- 
vex surface marked at one end with a representation of wolf skins, and 
along the entire length beyond these are a number of waterfowl in the 
act of swimming. 

Figure ■'>. from Cape Nome, is another ivory bag handle, both sur- 
faces of which are tilled with etchings representing occurrences in the 
life of tin- Eskimo, including dragging home a seal, the pursuit of a 
whale, traveling with dog sledges, launching of umiaks, walrus hunt- 
ing, and other similar occupations. 


A tool box obtained at Cape Nome (number L5385 is I I inches long, 
U high, and 5 wide. The ends are dovetailed into the sides, and the 
bottom is fastened on with wooden pegs. The lid. in which half a blue 
bead is inlaid. i> at t ached Ity law hide hinges and has a loop of " ra w hide 

!>4 THE E8KIM0 ABOUT BERING! STRAIT [ktm.axx. is 

and a doable end cord tor tying it down. A split in the cover has 
been neatly mended by means of thin strips of whalebone passed 
through holes pierced on opposite sides. A small scalloped rod of 

ivory forms a handle to the co\er, held in place by a loop of rawhide 
passed through two holes at each end into corresponding holes in the 
cover and the ends knotted inside. 

Plate XXII, 10. represents a box from Sfugunugumut, oval in shape, 
rather truncated at the smaller end and beveled toward the center. 
One end is carried upward in the form of a neck, terminating in a gro- 
tesqne human head, having a prominent nose and an incised crescent- 
shape month with two pieces of white crockery inlaid at the corners to 
represent labrets; the other end has a pair of seal's flippers, the entire 
design being intended to represent a mythical being, with the body of 
a seal and a human head. It is painted in a bluish tint, except the 
head, which is black, and the incised lines that outline the flippers, 
which are red. The cover is slightly convex above arid concave below, 
with a broad groove cut in its upper surface; it is hinged by two raw- 
hide cords, and a double-end cord is fastened in two places on the 
side and passed twice around the box and tied to hold the cover in 
place and to fasten it. 

Another box (number 30242) from Sfngunugumut is similar in outline 
to the latter, except that it lacks the head, and, like the preceding, the 
body of the box is fashioned from a single piece of wood. The exterior 
is painted a dull red and has three grooves extending around it, which 
are colored black, and set in them at regular intervals are broad-head 
pegs of ivory, which are ornamented with a circle and dot. The interior 
of the box is divided into two compartments, unequal in size; the 
smaller, conical in shape, has been used for storing fragments of red 
other and other substances used as paints. The cover is hinged with 
rawhide and is fastened by a loop of rawhide which passes over a peg 
in front of the box. On the top of the cover is painted in black the 
figure of a curious mythical creature, so conventionalized in outline 
that it is difficult to identify it. From marks on the inside of the cover 
it has evidently been used in cutting tobacco. 

Plate xlii, 4, from Askinuk, is a box, suboval in shape, flattened 
above and below and truncated at each end, cut from a single piece 
of wood. The interior is neatly excavated to about an inch in depth, 
leaving a ledge crossing from side to side about an inch inward from 
each end. The sides of the box are painted black while the top and the 
bottom are of a bluish lint. On each of the four surfaces a shallow 
groove extends from end to end; on the sides they are of equal width, 
but on the top and the bottom they are narrow in the middle, broad- 
ening gi adually toward each end. These grooves are painted red. The 
cover is slightly convex wit hout and concave within. ( >n its inner sur- 
face are painted in n^\ and black a number of rude figures representing 
two Bledges, men, and various beasts, among the most conspicuous of 
w hieh are wolves ami reindeer. 





A box from Cape Vancouver (number 37357) is flattened oval in out- 
line, with a seal's head carved upon it, the eyes of which are represented 
by a piece of marble on one side and a fragment of porcelain on the 
other: ivory pegs form the nostrils, and at the corners of the mouth 
are ivory pegs with beads set in the center to represent labrets. On 
the top and on each side of the head small blue beads are inserted. A 
groove painted black extends around the sides of the box, m which 
seven ivory pegs are inserted. The cover is attached as usual by 
hinges of rawhide. The box is cracked, and has been mended by raw- 
hide cords laced through holes on each side of the fissure. A rawhide 
loop passing over a peg set in the front of the box serves as a fastening. 

A box from Pastolik (plate XXII, 11) is made in three pieces, the 
bottom being fastened on with wooden pegs; it is rather tlattened oval 
in outline, and represents the body of a seal. The head is represented 
with the mouth open and with wooden pegs for teeth; the nostrils 
are marked by ivory pegs, and for the eyes are inlaid small oval 
pieces of ivory with a hole in the center to represent the pupil; the 
11 ippers are carved in relief on the sides and at the rear; the tail is 
represented on the upper surface of the box and forms a thumb-piece 
for raising the cover. The cover is slightly convex without and con- 
cave within, with a groove extending its entire length; a groove is 
also cut around the body of the seal, and another below it extends the 
whole length of the box. The surface is painted black, except the 
grooves and the interior of the mouth of the seal, which are red. 

The inside of the cover is decorated with figures in red and black, 
representing human beings and animals. On one side the thunderbird 
is represented grasping a deer with one claw and a man in a kaiak 
with the other; on the opposite side the thunderbird is seizing a whale 
with one claw and a seal with the other. One curious figure represents 
a double-head wolf with four legs and connected by a black line with 
the hand of a man. 

Another box from Pastolik (number 38739) is made from separate 
pieces, the ends being mortised into the sides; wooden wedges are 
driven into the tenons to fasten them more firmly in the slots; the 
bottom is attached by wooden pegs. On the inner surface of the lid 
are painted in red a number of figures of men and animals, many of 
winch are obscene. The outer surface is not colored, but is covered 
with neatly made parallel grooves extending lengthwise and following 
the out lines of t he box. 

A box from Kaialiginnnf (number 37562) is made of wood, and is 

il ;it one end and truncated at the other; aboul an inch from the 

truncated cud ;i crosspiece is inserted in slots on each side, which are 

cut narrow ;it the edges and flaring toward the inside, so that the 

edges of the crosspiece, which are cut in corresponding shape, hold 
the ends of the box firmly in position. The sides are tunned by one 
piece, which is bent to form the oval figure; the bottom is attached by 
wooden pegs, and the cover is hinged with rawhide. For fastening, a 


loop passes <low n over a projecting peg <>n the bottom of the box. 

follow Lug tlic on! lino of tin' bos around the bottom, about one- third of 
an inoh from the edge is cut a bead in strong relief, and around the 
sides extends a grow e. The cover is carved to represent the flattened 
form of a seal with a large, broad head; the hind flippers are cut in 

relict': the eyes are represented by two small white buttons, and the 
nostrils by two white beads inlaid in the wood. The box is painted 
red. with the exception of the groove around the sides and the incisions 
outlining the flippers and the sides of the seal, which are black. The 
inside of the cover has a curious conventional design painted in black, 
intended as a private mark of the owner. 

Plate £1.11, 6, is a long oval box from Anogogmut, cut from a single 
piece of wood and divided into two compartments of unequal si/e by 
leaving a partition at the smaller end when the interior was excavated. 
The cover is neatly fitted and is hinged by two rawhide cords, and the 

Fm. 27— Wooden trinket box (£). 

fastening consists of a loop of rawhide tipped with a small ivory button, 
in which is a hole which fits over a bone peg. A groove is cut around 
the top and the bottom of the box about half an inch from the edge, and 
another passes around the center. , The surface is painted red, with the 
exception of the grooves, which are black. In the center of the cover 
18 set a round piece of white porcelain, and six smaller pieces are inlaid 
in one of the grooves. 

Figure 27 is a box from Anogogmut made from a single piece of wood, 
flattened oval in outline, slight ly convex above and very strongly so on 
Its lower surface. It is deeply excavated and has a neatly fitted cover 
held in position by two rawhide hinges and fastened by a loop of cord 
passed over a wooden peg on the lower edge of the box. On the upper 
surface of the cover t he figure of a seal is carved in relief, having in the 
center of the back a grotesque semihuman face, also in relief, probably 
intended to represent the shade of the seal. The bottom of the box 
ii -\ed iii the form of a larger seal with the flippers in relief and a 



WEDGES AND ADZES one-fifth) 



which they can be raised. In the center, extending lengthwise, are 
two other doors, and on each side, ju si below the upper edge, is another 
little floor. A loop of cord extending over and tied across the middle 
oi the bos keeps all these doors shut. 

women's workboxes 

Small wooden boxes are used by the women for the safekeeping oi 
their needle cases, sinew and liber thread, scraps of skein, earrings, 
pieces of coloring matter, and various other small articles used by them 
in their work. 

Figure .**. plate xlii, represents one of these workboxes from Sfugu- 
nugumut. It is oval in outline, and the top and bottom are in the shape 
of flattened, truncated cones, their thin bases resting on the sides of the 
box. On the front and back, crossing the sides vertically, are inlaid flat 

FlO. '28— Trinket box (about M. 

strips of ivory, with a series of three circles and dots engraved upon 
them: extending around the sides are a series of round, button-like pieces 
of ivory, their surfaces covered by a number of concentric circles with 
black centers. A hook-shape knob of ivory projects from the front, 
over which a rawhide loop fastened to the cover is passed to keep the 
lid closed. A slender ivory rod. four inches in length, having its upper 
surface etched with circle and dot patterns, forms a handle and is 
attached to the top of the cover by a rawhide cord at each end. 

Figure 5 of the same plate shows a box, from ikogmut, made from a 
Single piece of wood in the shape of a seal lying on its back with the 
head and hind flippers turned upward: t he fore llippers are also carved 

in relief on the surface. On the cover a flattened ivory rod is fastened 
with pegs io the main pari of the box. On the upper surface of the 
cover, in the center of a broad circular groove in which ivory pegs are 

























nelson] women's workboxes 9!) 

set, is a semihuman face carved in relief; it has ivory labrets at each 
corner of the mouth, and inlaid pieces of ivory represent the eyes. 

Figure '.) of the plate shows a box, from Sabotnisky, cut from a single 
piece of wood, flattened and slightly oval in outline, with truncated 
ends. The form of a salmon is carved in relief on both the top and the 
bottom, and a groove extends along the sides. The cover is attached 
in the usual manner by rawhide hinges, and a cord is provided for 
fastening it in front. 

Another box from Sfdgunugumut (number 36245) is made from a 
single piece of wood, oval in outline, truncated at one end, with a sunken 
ledge around the upper edge to receive the cover, which is slightly 
convex and projects upward at one end to form a thumb piece for rais- 
ing it. This projection is carved in the form of a cormorant's head, the 
eyes being represented by incised circles. 

Figure 8, plate xlii, from Konigunugumut, is a long, quadrate, 
wooden box, the top, bottom, and sides of which are made from sepa- 
rate pieces, the edges of the cover and the bottom being beveled. It is 
fastened together with wooden pegs, and the cover is attached as usual 
by rawhide hinges and fastened by a loop passing down over a project- 
ing peg in front. The bottom of the box is painted black around the 
edges and crossed by black bars; the ends of the top and sides are 
painted red, and a broad, black band extends around the middle. 

Figure 2, plate xlii, from St Lawrence island, is a workbox. circular 
in form, made by bending a thin piece of spruce, three inches wide, so 
that tin' ends overlap, and are sewed together with strips of whalebone 
passed through slits pierced in both thicknesses of the beveled ends. 
The top and the bottom are truncated cones in shape, chamfered and 
fitted into grooves cut around the inner edges of the sides. A round 
hole in the top serves for putting in and taking out small objects. 

Figure 1. plate xlii, from Sledge island, is a box 4 inches high and 
1 | inches square, made of thin pieces of spruce smoothly finished. The 
bottom is attached by wooden pegs; the sides are neatly mortised 
together. The cover is hinged by two pieces of rawhide and is fast- 
ened in front by a double-end string passing through a rawhide loop 
pendent from the cover. The handle on the cover consists of two 
pieces Of rawhide cord tied together in the middle, the ends passed 
through holes and knotted inside, forming a loop about an inch and a 
half in length. The box is grooved around the top and the sides in 
parallel lines: the outer grooves, painted black, are broad and shallow, 
while i hose on the inside are narrower and red in color both on the cover 

and sides. On t he center of the cover is a pointed oval groove, black 
in color. The bottom of the box and a broad band around the sides are 

not painted. 

A circular box, from Sledge island number 45093), is seven inches 

high and over nine inches in diameter, made from a strip of spruce 

bent until i he beveled edges overlap, and sewed together with a double 


row of stitching with spruce rootlet, The bottom is chamfered aud 
fitted into a gro<N e like the head of a barrel ; the cover is slightly con- 
vex above and concave within; three parallel grooves cross the top at 
equal intervals, and two others, about an inch apart, extend around 
the edge. The body of the box has also a broad and a narrow groove 

near each edge. The cover is painted red and a band of this color 

extends around each edge of the box; the grooves are all colored 
black. A cord loop, two inches in length, forms a handle 1 for the cover, 
which is binged with sinew cord and is fastened by two ends of a raw- 
hide cord which project through a hole in front of the box and pass 
through a loop pendent from the lid. 

Another box (number L76081), from Sledge island, is oval in outline, 
but is contracted in the middle by means of a stout, sinew cord passed 
through holes on each side, forming a stout cross-stay. The sides are 
made of two pieces with the ends lapping, sewed together in the same 
manner as in the preceding specimen, and the bottom is similarly iitted 
into a groove by a chamfered edge. The cover is also hinged in the 
same manner and is provided with a similar fastening. A looped raw- 
hide handle, each end of which is divided into two parts, is passed 
through four holes and knotted on the underside. 


Handles for women's workboxes and for water buckets are frequently 
made of ivory or of bone. They present a considerable variety of 
form and many of them are handsomely carved. A large number 
were obtained, of which the following specimens, illustrated in plate 
xliii, present the principal variations : 

Figure 16, from Norton sound, is a plain rod of ivory, nearly square 
in cross section. 

Figure 5, from Unalaklit, is a rod of ivory, suboval in cross section, 
with the upper surface etched in parallel lines extending obliquely 
from the middle of the top to the edge. 

Figure 11, from Sledge island, is a small, flat rod, broadened verti- 
cally at each end to be pierced ibracord. The upper surface is marked 
with raven totem signs and a simple etched pattern. 

Figure 24, from Shaktolik, has the lower side scalloped and the upper 
side etched coarsely with lines and points. 

Figure L0, from Norton sound, is slightly curved and has the upper 
portion covered with zigzag patterns. 

me '_'<;. from ('ape Darby, is suboval in cross section and has 
across its upper surface the figures of ten whales carved in relief. 

me 17. from I nalaklit. is a flattened ivory rod, carved at one end 
to represent the head of a seal, and with the figures of several whales 

etched upon its upper surface. 

ure L3, from Norton sound, is nearly square in cross section, 












scalloped along each side, and grooved along the middle of the upper 
sin lace: the ends terminate in the head ol' an animal which has been 
much worn by long use; the details arc consequently obliterated. 

Fisrure 9, is a handle obtained by Mr L. M. Turner from Norton sound. 
It is suboval in cross section, and has in relief along its upper surface 
the figures of thirty seal heads; on each side of the two holes in which 
the cord is fastened to attach it to the box or bucket is also carved in 
relief the figure of a right whale. 

Figure 1 1. from Cape Darby, is an ivory rod, suboval in cross section, 
with the figures of seven right-whale tails projecting from one side. 
Specimen 45157, from Sledge island, is a small rod, evidently used for 
a box cover, having along its upper edge, in an upright position, the 
figures of twelve whale- tails joined by their tips. 

Figure L2, from Point Hope, is an ivory rod, oblong in cross section. 
Carved on one side of the middle is the projecting figure of the tail of 
a right whale, and on tin? upper surface are etched the figures of two 
right whales and the tails of four others. 

Figure 6, from Kigiktauik, is a bucket handle of ivory, strongly 
curved and having in relief along its upper surface the figures of nine heads, several etched figures of seals with spears in their backs, 
rude figures representing otters, and a framework for storing objects 
above ground. 

Figure 8, from Point Hope, is a slender ivory rod. triangular in cross 
section, doubly scalloped along both sides, and having a slight border- 
ing p;it tern of etched lines. 

Figure 1. from Sledge island, is a bucket handle consisting of a fiat, 
ivory rod about four inches in Length, with a neatly carved, five-link 
chain of ivory depending from a loop in each end. These chains ter- 
minate below with a carving, representing the head of a small seal. 
Through the Hat surface near each end of the handle is a large, round 
hole in which tits, swivel like, a small, round rod ofivory, terminating 
above in the figure of a seal's head, the eyes and ears of which are 
represented by a black substance inlaid in the ivory, while the mouth 
and the nostrils are etched. The lower ends of these handle rods are 
pierced with holes for receiving the cords connecting them with the 

Figure 22, from Sledge island, is a heavy rod of ivory, suboval in 
cross section, terminating in a ring in which hangs by another ring 

the image o| a right whale's t;u'l about two inches in length, (poii 

die middle of the upper surface are etched figure- of two right whales, 
and aero-- the rod, ne;ir each end. are carved in strong relief two 
other figures of right whales. This carving LS remarkably well done 
ami i-> a \ cry artistic pi' C6 of work. 

Figure 7, from Kigikiauik, is ;i plain, slightly curved handle of rein- 
deei horn, suboval Id cross se t ion. 

Figure -'.from st Michael, is a handle of deerhorn, round in cr< 


tion, and bent at an obtuse angle in the center, [t has a shallow 
groove along its convex upper surface, in which are :i number of. small. 
round point s. 

Figure L, from Nunivak island, is a thin, curved piece of deerhorn 
w it li the ends rounded, and having a rounded protuberance in the sides 
at about one-third of the distance from each end. The upper surface 
has two parallel incised lines extending nearly its entire length, which 
are intersected at the widened points by a series of concentric circles 
with holes through the center. 

Figure 23, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a large, strong handle of 
walrus ivory, with a doubly serrated edge on one side but smooth on 
the other. Two parallel grooves extend along the upper surface; the 
lower surface is convex. 

Figure 20, from the Diomede islands, is a bar of walrus ivory. The 
ends are Battened, but the center is curved upward. Carved at each 
end is the figure of a polar bear in a standing position, looking 

Figure 21, obtained at St Michael by Mr. L. M.Turner, is a rounded 
liar of ivory, liattened on its lower surface and convex above, with a 
well carved head of a polar bear, facing outward, on each end. A large 
hole is pierced lengthwise through this handle to admit the passage of 
a cord for attaching it to a water bucket. 

Figure 18, from Unalaklit, is a flattened bar of ivory with the figure 
of a right whale, facing inward toward the center, carved in relief upon 
its upper surface at each end. In the back of each whale, near the 
tail, are two large, vertical holes for attaching the cord. 

Figure 15, from ('ape Prince of Wales, is a bar of walrus ivory, flat 
on the lower surface. On the upper side two right whales, facing out- 
ward, are carved in relief on one eud, and on the other end is the 
figure of a wolf. 

Figure 3, from Point Hope, is a small carving intended for a work- 
box handle, with a pair of seals' heads, facing outward, in high relief 
on each end of the upper surface. Between these heads are deeply 
incised lines forming a simple pattern. 

Figure L9, from St Michael, is a rod of ivory carved in the form of 
a wolf, the legs being represented by the downward-projecting knobs, 
which are pierced for the attachment of cords. 

Figure 25, from the Diomede islands, is an ivory handle for a water 
bucket. It is a flat bar, sj, inches long and L£ broad, having each end 
rounded and pierced with a hole three- quarters of an inch in diameter. 
In the center is another smaller round hole. In the holes at the ends 
round pins, in which are holes wit h grooves below them at each side 
I" admit the cords for attaching the handle to the bucket. The heads 
re carved to represenl the heads, shoulders, and forelegs 
of H llite ii an upright position, facing inward toward the center. 

lide tin ' 1 it skIs, on the upper surface, near the hole in the center, 





are carved in relief two figures of seals with their heads facing inward. 

The whole group represents two seals lying on the ice near their hole 
and two polar bears rising from the water at the edge of the ice, close 
to the seals. 


The women have a great variety of cases for holding their needles, 
differing widely in form and made from a diversity of materials, show- 
ing the remarkable ingenuity of these people in their adaptation of 
ornamental designs to practical purposes. 

In the country about the lower Yukon and southward to the Kusko- 
kwim a favorite form of needle-case is made from a section of the hollow 
wing bone of a goose or other large waterfowl, plugged at each end 
with wooden stoppers, one representing the head and the other the tail 
of a fish. The surfaces of these cases are covered with a variety of 
incised patterns, as will be seen by the following figures comprising 
plate xliv: 

Figure 35, from Ivushunuk, is one of these needle-cases, representing 
a tish. Figure.')-'), from Cape Vancouver, and figure 34, from Sabotnisky, 
also represent ashes and have tufts of seal hair inserted around the 
wooden head and tail. 

Figure 3<>, from Ivushunuk, has the stopper carved in the shape of 
the head of a young white whale. Figure 30, also from Ivushunuk, has 
a tlat Stopper in one end and a round knob on the other. 

Figure 38, from Norton sound, is an ivory tube in the form of a 
woman's leg, with etched lines to represent the seams of the trousers. 

figure 37, from ivonigunugumut, is made of wood, over which are 
placed five empty cartridge shells. The stopper is in the shape of a 
cormorant's head. 

Figure L6, from Inalaklit, is an octagonal tube of ivory. 

Figure 30, from Ilotham inlet, is a round, ivory tube with a figure 
of an Arctic hare in strong relief on two opposite sides, near one end. 

Figure 32, from St .Michael, is an ivory tube, round at one end and 
broadened by a ridge on each side near the other. It lias the raven 
totem etched upon it. 

Figure 18, from (Inalaklit, is a short, ivory tube plugged at one end 
and with blue beads inlaid around it. The surface is surrounded by 
zigzag etchings and raven totem marks. 

Figure 29, from Sledge island, has in relief on two side- the figures 
of two white whales. 

Figure !•». from the lower Yukon, is a tube in the form of a woman 
Standing with her Minis held against her side-. 

-me Hi. from King island, is a round tubecarved with two human 
figures, facing inward from each end. in n sitting position, with the 
elbows resting upon the knee- and the bauds folded under the chin. 
This is ;i line piece of curving, and from the fad that it 1ms been much 
worn bv handling it is doubtless of [jreal age. 


ure 31, froin the lower Vuktm. is a tube with the head of a walrus 
in relief ou each of two Bides near one end and the head of a seal on 
the <»i her end. 

are 28, from Ivotzebue sound, is of ivory in the shape of a small 
flask closed by a wooden stopper. The wooden bottom is held in place 
with wooden pegs. In relief on one side of the neck is the figure of a 
right whale, and on opposite sides are two bears. 

Needle-cases are sometimes n^vd without stoppers, in which case a 
large cord of sealskin is passed through the center, which terminates 
in a hook of bone or ivory for holding thimbles, or hung to it by small 
Is are various little pendent ornaments, which consist .sometimes 
of the canine teeth of various animals, but are often small carvings 
resenting arrowheads, human laces, miniature belt fasteners, and 
Various animal forms. When t his style of needle-case is used the needles 
are thrust into the sealskin cord and. are drawn into the ease by pulling 
on the other end of the cord, and when needed can be withdrawn by a 
revei se movement. 

Figure 25, obtained on Norton sound by Mr L. M. Turner, is a good 
example of this style of needle-case with sealskin needle holder. 

Figure 26, from St Michael, is a small, neatly carved needle-case pend- 
ant representing a reindeer's foot. 

Figures 22, 23, and 27 represent a number of these small pendants, 
all of which were obtained at Kushunuk. The last mentioned is in the 
form of a frog with a large head but without the fore limbs. 

women's "housewives" 

The little cases or bags for materials used in sewing and for other 
articles for women's work, commonly called "housewives." are in general 
use among the western Eskimo. They are made from skins of various 
kinds and embellished with needlework in ornamental patterns. The 
lower end terminates usually in a bag and the upper end is rounded; 
to the latter a rawhide cord is attached, having at its end a slender 
cross-piece of bone, ivory, or deerhorn from three to eight inches in 
length, which is generally carved into various designs with tin 1 inge- 
nuity characteristic of these people. When not in use the "housewife" 
is i oiled up. the cord is wound several times around it and fastened by 
l brusting one end of t he cross-piece under tin 1 cord. 

A specimen of* these housewives from Kaialigamut (number 37918) 
is made from the skin of reindeer ears and pieces of skin from other 
parts of the same animal. The upper end is rounded and trimmed with 
-tripes of white, black, and russet leather parallel to the curved edge, 
the seams being sewed in black ami white. The lower end terminates 
in a bag, the inner surface of which is divided into square sections by 
donbh titching, along which are painted bordering red Lines. 

A long t li«* outer edges is n narrow strip of white reindeer inr succeeded 
by a little strip of plucked beaver, outside of which is a coarse fringe 

de from little Strips from the edge of the skill of reindeer ears. 



BUCKET AND BOX HANDLES -about one-fourth' 

nels women's "housewives" 105 

Plate \l\ '. 1 1, from the lower Yukon, is a small housewife covered on 
the inside with ornamental patterns of red, white, and black. It con- 
tains three pockets, and is bordered with a narrow strip of muskrat 
skin: the back is made of tishskin. 

Plate XXV, 32, from the lower Yukon, is a piece <>f tishskin intended to 
form the outer ends of a large housewife. It is sewed with ornamental 
patterns, oval in outline on three sides and straight across the other, 
and bordered by a narrow fringe of sealskin. 

Plate XXV, 31, obtained on Nunivak island by Dr W. II. Dall, is a 
good example of a housewife made from the skin of reindeer ears, 
bordered by a fringe of small strips of the same material. The sides 
have a border of white reindeer skin, surrounded by a narrow strip of 
sealskin and mink fur around its upper edge. The interior is divided 
into quadrate spaces by parallel seams of black and white and rows of 
small beads. At intervals around the outer edges are little tags of red 
worsted. The stringfor fastening is covered with beads. 

Plate \LV. L5, shows a specimen from Big lake, with a central band 
of deerskin about an inch and a half wide by ten inches long, bordered 
along each side with skins from six reindeer ears sewed together along 
the sides. On one end is a semilunar piece of skin, having its front 
covered with rows of beads and an ornamental pattern of white and 
reddish sealskin, sewed with sinew thread and strips of white quills. 
The inside is crossed by parallel rows of stitching with red-painted 
binder lines: the inclosed areas are not colored, but are adorned with 
small clusters of beads in their centers. 

A large number of the fastening rods were obtained. The following, 
figured in plate XXV, illustrate a few of the variations in form and 
outline : 

Figure 29, from Nunivak island, and figure 30, from Big lake, show 
two fastening' rods in the shape of salmon. 

Figure 27, from Konigunugumut, and figure 28, from Agiukchugu- 
mut, are also fish-like in form. 

Figure 24, from dkagamut, is a ueatly carved rod in two sections, 
united b\ a cross bar. On one side is represented ;i white whale, and 
on the other ;i seal, the figures being very much elongated and slit 
through the backs. 

Figure 26, from Nulukhtulogumut, is a round fastening rod, repre- 
senting a seal; it has ail eye ;it the lower end for at t aching the cord. 

Figure 25 shows a rod from Pig lake which terminates in the head 
and t;nl of a wolf, the legs <>i the animal being represented by etched 
lines on the surface. 

Figure IT. from the lower Yukon, is a small, rod-like piece of Ivory 
with a grotesque head at each end. one side apparently representing 
that of a bird and the other thai <>f some other creature. 

figure 13, from Ohalitmut, is n handsome, fiat, ivory rod, having on 
one si do ;it each end the figure of a seal car\c<l in relief, and in the cen- 
ter the head of a man surrounded by a raised border with ray-like, 


etched Lines extending out from it, evidently intended bo represent a 
hood with a fur border. On the other side is the lace of a woman with 
tattooed lines on the chin and a similar indication of a fur hood, and 

also i wo seals in relief. 

Figure 21, from Big lake, is a round, slender rod terminating in the 
head of an unknown animal. 

Figure L2, from the lower Yukon, is a slender rod having an eye at 
the lower end for t he attachment of a cord, and is composed of a series 
of oval sections divided by grooves and raised headings. 

Figure 18, from the lower Yukon, is another round rod surrounded 
by grooves and headings. 

Figure L0, from Cape Nome, has an eye on one end for attaching the 
cord, and is sharpened at the other to serve as a bodkin. It is etched 
near its base with the raven totem. 

Figure 1U, from Nubviukhchugaluk, is triangular in cross section 
and notched along two of the corners; on one side is etched the raven 
totem. This piece also terminates in a point for use as a bodkin. 

Figures 3 and 11 are both from Cape Vancouver, and have their 
ends llattened to serve as sole-creasers in making boots. 

Figure 8, from the lower Yukon; figure 4, from Big lake; figure 7, 
from Chalitmut; figure 6, from Kushunuk, and figure 5, from Kofii- 
gunugumnt, are all double rods, divided along the middle but joined 
near the outer ends. 

Figure 9, from Chalitmut, has two detached rods united by four 
round iron pegs or rivets, the two rods not touching anywhere along 
their length. 

Figure 20, from the Yukon; figure 1, from Sabotnisky; figure 19, 
from Konigunugumut, and figure 2, from Chalitmut, are variously orna- 
mented with lines and circles etched upon the surfaces. 

Figure 23, from Sfugunugumut, is a round ivory rod, with a seal 
carved in relief on the upper side. 

Figure 22, from the lower Kuskokwim, is a llattened image of a seal 
carved in ivory. 


Formerly bone needles were used exclusively by the Eskimo, the 
holes for the Stitches being pierced with a fine-pointed bodkin or awl 
of bone, ivory, or deerhorn; but since intercourse with white men has 
become more frequenl they have obtained steel needles and pieces of 
iron, from which needles are made by themselves. Although many 
bodkins are now pointed with iron, a great majority of those -in use are 
still tnade from bone, ivory, or horn. 

tires i and 2, plate xxvin a, from St Michael, are ivory needles 
-! for sewing coarse seams in making boat covers or for similar 

In the collection there is a small, flat, wooden tablet (number 44264), 





from Cape Darby, tour and one-half inches long by three-quarters oi an 
inch wide and an eighth of an inch thick, used for supporting a bone 
or an ivory needle while the eye is being pierced. The following speci- 
mens arc shown in plate XLYI: 

Figure 15, from Sabotnisky, is a sharp-pointed bodkin, made from 
the wing-bone of a large bird. 

figure 13, from Kushunuk, is another bodkin, made from tin 4 hollow 
wing-bone of a bird. It has a neatly made wooden head, inserted like 
a plug in its upper end. 

Figure 1, from St Michael, is of deerborn, the upper end in the 
form of a human figure, with a face represented on both sides. A 
stick passing through a hole in the body and projecting on either side 
forms the arms. The lower end is rounded and grooved, with a hollow 
at the tip, in which is lifted a slender, tapering point of deerhorn that 
can be removed and replaced at will. This is the only implement of 
its kind that was seen. It is fashioned after iron-pointed tools used 
for a similar purpose. 

Figure 14, from Bazbinsky, is a slender, tapering bodkin of ivory, 
having its upper end cut into the form of a fish-head. 

Figure 9, from Cape Prince of Wales, terminates in a link, by which 
is attached a loose piece cut in the form of a bird-head. Little tufts 
of seal hair are inserted in holes around the upper end of the handle 
and in the bird-head, held in place by means of wooden pegs. 

Figure 8, from Big lake, is made of ivory; it has two links in its 
upper end, and the top is carved to represent a fish-head. 

Figure 11, from Cape Vancouver, is triangular in cross section and 
has little strings of beads attached to the handle, the top of which is 
surmounted by a knob. 

Figure 10, from Askinuk, is terminated by a link with a pendant in 
which blue beads are set. 

Figure 12, from Cape Prince of Wales, is triangular in cross section, 
with the upper end neatly cut into the form of a reindeer head. 

Figure 7, from the Kuskokwim, is a handsome ivory bodkin termi- 
nating in three links, with the hind flippers of a seal pendent from the 

figure 1, from Chalitmut, has an iron point and a handle of walrus 
ivory terminating in two links, the top one in tin 1 form of a fishtail. 

Figure 2, from Gape Vancouver, is a long iron point with a handle 
of walrus ivory iii the form of a salmon, along the body of which are 
Bel lift le tufts of seal hair. 

Figure 6, from the lower Yukon, is an iron pointed bodkin with a 
wooden handle and a little wooden sheath for slipping over the point. 

Figure 16, also from the lower Yukon, i- a specimen of the larger 
bodkms or awls ased for piercing heavy skins employed in making 
kaiaks and for other similar work. 

Figure 3, from Nulukhtulogumut, is ;i strong iron implement with 
an ivory handle fashioned in the shape of ;i seal. 


I .'I'll. AW 18 

(ure 5, from Cbalitmut, has an ivory handle terminating in two 
knobs, one above the other, and separated by a projecting beading. 


For crimping or creasing the sealskin soles of boots around the toe 

i1 heel, small, sharp-edged, flat-pointed pieces of ivory or bone are 
used. Sometimes these are knife-like in shape, as in figure 49, plate 
\ i i \ . from Sledge island, or are smooth, plain pieces like the specimen 
shown in figure l."» of the same plate, which was obtained by Doctor 
1 >;i I from Nnnivak island. 

Figure 17 of the plate referred to represents a ereaser in the form of 
a walrus; the head and tasks are carved, and the flippers and certain 
other anatomical details are etched on the back of the implement. 
This specimen is also from Nnnivak island. 

Plate xxiv, 1-. from Point Hope, is an elaborate boot ereaser of this 
kind, to the upper end of which, attached by a link, is a carving repre- 
senting the head of a white bear. The body of* the implement is sinuous 
nearly to the end where it is flattened to a wedge shape. 

Fig. 29— Boot-sole ereaser (Cull size). 

I Mute xliy, 41, from Kotzebue sound, is a ereaser made from ivory 
in the form of a knife, with a pendant attached by a link to the butt. 

Plate xliv, 50, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a ereaser with a link 
a: one end. to which is attached a short bodkin. 

Plate xx.IV, 51, from Kotzebue sound, is a ereaser made by shaping 
down the small end of a piece of bone. 

The accompanying figure 29 is an ivory boot-sole ereaser from Nush- 
agak; it is triangular in cross-section, with pictures etched on the three 
sides. The side represented shows a house with smoke issuing from 
the smoke hole, an elevated storehouse to the left, and some people 
approaching with ;i loaded sledge from the right. 

Plate \i.t\. II, from Nnnivak island, is a ereaser in the form of a 
nnme'- I iead. 

women's knives 

The knives nsed by Eskimo women for skinning and cutting up 

and fish vary considerably in form. Some consist simply of a 

broad piece <»i slate, roughly crescentic in shape, with the curved side 

md to a t hiii c(1 

lire 8, plate \ i.\ i i. from K a /.bin sky. represents one of these rough 





Figure 6, plate xlvii. from Kushunuk, is a small knife made of slate 
set in a slot in the end of an oval wooden handle. 

Figure 7. plate xlvii, from the lower Yukon, is made of a fine- grain 

stone very similar in appearance to slate, set into a wooden handle. 
This specimen is more neatly made than is usually the case with these 

Figure 5, plate xlvii, from the lower Yukon, is a rough piece of slate 
set in a rudely made wooden handle. 

Figure 9, plate xlvii. from the lower Yukon, is a slate knife attached 
to a wooden handle by means of a rawhide cord passed through a hole 
in the back. It has a sheath made from two pieces of wood fastened 
together with a rawhide cord. 

Figure 10, plate xlvii, from St Michael, is a long slate blade fitted 
into a slot in the end of a wooden handle and bound in place with a 
lashing of untanned sealskin. 

Figure 4, plate XLVII, from Konigunugumut, is a specimen of the 
iron-blade knives which, since the introduction of iron into Alaska, are 
gradually displacing the old stone and slate implements. It is set in a 
neatly made wooden handle. 

Figure 1, plate xlvii, from Sfugunugumut, is another iron-blade 
knife with a solid ivory handle. 

Specimens of wooden handle knives, similar in character to those 
from the American coast, were obtained on St Lawrence island, but 
they show the customary rude workmanship of that district. 


Thimbles for women are made usually from small, oval pieces of tough 
sealskin, having a slit extending across one edge, forming a loop-like 
strap, through which the forefinger is thrust, so that the strap rests 
across the nail and the pad of skin in the inner side of the finger (see 
figure 20, plate xliv. from Nubviukhchugaluk). Some of the women 
use metal thimbles obtained from the traders, which are also imitated 
in ivory by themselves, but most of the women prefer the old-fashioned 
Iskin thimbles. 

Figure 21, plate xliv. from Chalitmut, is one of these ivory thimbles 
made to rest like a cap over 1 he end of the ifinger ; the back is cut away 
except for a strap or band across the inner border. In form this is a 
combination of the metal thimble of the white people and the old 
style made from a piece of sealskin. 

Sealskin thimbles are earned usually on a holder or guard attached 
to the end of a mid. which is either fastened to the workbagor forms 
a pendant to tie* strap of the needle-case. These holders vary greatly 
in form, but are most frequently of hook shape. 

Fignre L, plate \ i.i\ , from St Michael, is a t hi ml tie holder made from 

a plain piece of bone from the leg of a bird; it is the rudesl and 
simplest form of this art icle. 


Figure 24, plate kx.iv, also from SI .Michael, is in tlie form of a 
doable crescent, with a hole in the middle over which the, thimble is 
slipped and retained in place by the crescent-shape bar. 

Figure 1 1. plate SLIT, from Norton bay, is a plain, hook-like holder. 

Figure L9, plate \liv. from Kot/ebne sound: figure is, from Botham 
inlet, and figure 17. from Point Hope, are all made from ivory and rep- 
resent different forms of this little implement. 

jure 2, plate \i. iv. from St Lawrence island, is a rude hook made 
from a walrus tooth. Figure 1, from Knshunnk, is a rather rudely 
made hook of deerhorn. Figure 3 is another deerhorn hook from the 
same locality as the last. Figure 7, from Nunivak island, is a hook 
made from walrus ivory in the form of a salmon. 

Figures 5, 8, !>, 10, and 13, of plate XLIV, represent various forms of 
this implement made from ivory. All are from Kushunuk. 

Figure 1 1. plate xliv, from Nubviukhchugaluk, and figure 12, of the 
same plate, are ivory hook-shape holders from Kotzebue sound. 

Figure 15, plate xliv, from Unalaklit, is a hook-shape holder having 
a leather band which slips down over the hook, holding- it closed and 
preventing the thimble from dropping off. 

Figure 6, plate XLIV, from Kushunuk, is a specimen which has a 
wrapping of spruce rootlets around the shank and inside the slot 
which forms the hook to keep the thimble in place. 

Figure 16, plate xliv, is a double thimble guard of ivory from Point 


Thread for sewing clothing or other small articles is made of sinew 
from the legs of reindeer, dried and beaten with a maul to loosen the 
fibers, which are then divided and cleaned. From the Kuskokwim 
northward to Kotzebue sound and the islands of Bering strait, small 
comb-like implements with from two to four teeth are in use for this 
purpose. On the lower Yukon a species of tough grass is obtained and 
utilized for making thread and for other purposes. After being dried 
and beaten it is hatcheled witlr the combs which are used for making 
thread from sinew. Cords are made in different ways and of various 
materials, according to the uses for which they are intended. The 
kind most commonly in use is made from tanned sealskin, which 
is trimmed to an oval shape, from which a, continuous strip is cut. 
Sometimes an entire skin is made into an unbroken cord. For heavier 
cords the skin of the walrus is utilized. Tanned reindeer skins are 
also cut into thongs, and sinews of reindeer and seals are twisted into 
cords of various sizes. On the lower Yukon and in the interior ter- 
ritory occupied by the Eskimo, cord is made from the inner bark of the 
willow. St lips of whalebone are also frequently employed for lashings 
on sledges, boats, and various implements. 

me 5, plate xl vin a, from Norton sound, represents one of the 
combs used in making thread from sinew. 

are 6, plate XL Vina, from the Diomede islands, is a comb or sinew 





shredder of walrus ivory, with four large, coarse teeth and a narrow 

Figure 1, plate klviii a, from Sledge island, is a three-toothed sinew 
shredder with a flattened knob like blade at the end of the handle. 

Figure 3, plate xxvnia, from Cape Nome, is a small, flat piece of 
deerhorn with three flat teeth on one end. and figure 2, plate xlviii a, 
from Sledge island, is a similar implement made of ivory, 

Figure 4, plate xlviii^, from Cape Darby, is a toothed ivory imple- 
ment of this kind, one tooth being attached to the side of the main 
piece by means of a strong wrapping of willow root. 

Figures 7 and 9, plate xlvki a, from the lower Yukon; figure 8, from 
Mission, and figure 10, from Sabotnisky. are specimens of combs which 
have been used in making grass thread. 

The accompanying figure 30, from Sledge island, represents some of 
the implements used for twisting sinew cords. A full set consists of 
two tlattened ivory rods with a small knob or head at each end, and 
four bodkin-like ivory rods each with the figure of a deer-head at the 
upper end. These implements are all pierced with holes and strung 




FIG. 30— Sinew twisters ($). 

on a rawhide cord in order that thev may conveniently be carried and 
not readily mislaid. 

figure 8. plate xlviii A, from Cape Vancouver, and ligure 5 of the 
same plate, from Nunivak island, represent reels on which thread is 
wound. They are sometimes used also as shuttles in making small 
meshed nets. 

Figures 1 and (>, plate KLVIII />. from Nunivak island, arc specimens 
of thread reels carved to represent mythical beings, half woman and 

half seal, with the hands held against the sides of the laces. 

Figures 3 and 7. plate \\.\\\\\>. from the same island, arc ivory reels 

carved to represent seals. 

Figure 31 represents a sinew cord spinner from St Lawrence island. 

This object is made of ivory and consists of three parts; these area 
quadrate base for holding in the hand, and pierced in the middle of 
the outer surface for the insertion of one end of a slender rod having a 

knob at its other end. A flattened rod is pierced near one end and 
slipped upon the first-named rod, upon which it revolves. The sinew 

to i.e spun is attached to the flattened rod at the shoulder, just below 

the hole, and by a rapid circular motion of the hand the flattened rod 

is caused to revolve rapidly, giving the desired twisting to the cord. 




No implements of this kind were Been among the Eskimo elsewhere 
in tlit' region visited, and it is quite possible that the St Lawrence 
islanders obtained the idea from some of the whaling ships which stop 
so frequently along their shore. 


Fi<;. 31 — Sinew spinner from St Lawrence island. 


For dressing and tanning skins several different implements are 
\\<i'(\. the most important of which are scrapers for cleaning the fat and 
water from the surface, and polishers for the purpose of softening the 
hide. From the lower Knskokwim to the northern part of Norton 
sound and the coast of Bering strait, stone-blade scrapers with long 
handles are the prevailing style, although on the coast and islands of 
Bering strait a short -handle scraper is frequently seen, while from 
Kotzebue sound northward they are all of the latter type, with the 
handle made to lit the hand and elaborately carved. 

Plate \li\. 17. from Big lake, represents one of these scrapers of 




- ■-; 


hard, green schistose ground to a crescentic edge, fitted to a wooden 
handle eleven inches in length, which extends downward, overlapping 
about one-halt' the length of the blade, and held in place by a rawhide 
lashing which is prevented from slipping by a ridge along the lower 
v(\<j;(> of the wood. The upper part of the handle is bent downward 
for convenience in grasping. 

Plate xlix, 19, from the lower Yukon, is a slate scraper similar in 
design to the last, with a wooden handle attached by a lashing of 
spruce root, the upper part bent downward nearly to a right angle. 

Plate xlix, 20, from Nubviukhchugaluk, is a scraper consisting of a 
chisel-shape blade inserted in a broad wooden handle which overlaps 
the upper part and is held in position by a lashing of spruce root. On 
the upper surface of the handle is a groove to receive the forefinger, 
on tin 4 inner side is another groove to receive the thumb, and two 
grooves on the under surface of the downward-turned end of the handle 
admit the remaining three lingers. 

Plate xlix, 15, from the lower Yukon, is a short scraper with a 
wooden handle curved downward to a pistol-like grip, and a heavy 
blade of black chert ground to a chisel-shape edge, lifted to the handle 
with an intervening pad of grass. The blade is held in position by 
means of a strong lashing of spruce root. 

Plate xlix, 12, from the lower Yukon, has a broad, flattened blade of 
slate, chisel-shape at the edge, with an overlapping wooden handle 
held in place by a spruce-root lashing. The handle is bent downward 
to form the grip. 

Plate xlix, 18, from Norton sound, has a large, slate blade with a 
rounded, chisel-shape edge. It is lifted into a groove in the wooden 
handle, which is held securely in place by a rawhide lashing. The 
handle is broad near the blade and narrows gradually to a rounded 
grip, which is bent abruptly downward ; a groove extends along the 
upper surface, and others, on two sides, below the grip, form a rest for 
the forefinger and the thumb. 

Plate xlix, 10, from Sledge island, has a Hat blade of slate with a 
rounded edge fitted against a shoulder on the lower surface of the 
overlapping wooden handle, which has a projecting spur just above the 
grip, intended to rest between the thumb and the forefinger when the 
implement is in use. 

Plate \lix, 13, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a small scraper with a 
Hat, chisel like blade of black slate, held in position against the short 
oval wooden handle by a rawhide cord. Another scraper from Cape 
Prince of Wales Dumber 13405) consists of a rudely chipped Mint blade. 

fitted into a mortise in the rough wooden handle and secured by a 
lashing of sinew. The tipper end of the handle is bent downward and 

has two grooves on the lower surface to receive the second and third 


Plate \u\. 1 1. from Sledge island, has a thin, chisel-shape blade of 
18 i /in 8 


black Blate wedged into a slot in the wooden handle, which is broad 
near the socket and tapers gradually to the grip, where it is enlarged 
in form a broad oval to rest in the palm of the hand. A broad groove 
inns down the trout of the handle, and the sides are flattened to form 
rests for the thumb and the forefinger. 

Plate \li\. 7. from Koizebue sound, is a short handle for a scraper, 
made of fossil mammoth ivory, with a slit in its lower end for the 
insertion of a flint blade. It is hollowed on the lower side of the bent 
upper portion to receive the thumb. On the outer surface are two 
grooves for the second and third fingers. The first finger is intended to 
rest at the base of the blade. 

Plate xxix, S. from Kowak river, has a chisel-point, chipped Hint 
blade, inserted in a plain handle of fossil mammoth ivory. Another 
specimen (number 48027), from Kotzebne sound, -has a chipped Hint 
blade inserted into a slot in the mammoth ivory handle, which has a 
groove on the inside for a thumb rest and two on the upper surface for 
the first and second fingers. A deep slot on the under surface is 
intended to receive the third and fourth fingers. 

Plate xlix, 14, from EEotham inlet, is a wooden handle larger than 
that last described, but grooved in the same manner to receive the 

I Mate xlix, 3, also from Hotham inlet, is a short handle of mam- 
moth ivory, with a slot for the insertion of a flint blade. The back of 
the handle forms a flaring edge intended, when in use, to rest on the 
under surface of the hand near the base of the thumb, while the first 
and second fingers are placed in a deep groove in front and the third 
and fourth fingers lie in a deep excavation on the under surface. 

Plate xlix, L'. from Point Hope, is a handle made from fossil mam- 
moth ivory, with a deep groove on the inside for receiving the thumb, 
two grooves on the upper surface for the first and second fingers, and 
an excavation on the lower surface for the third and fourth lingers. 

Plate xlix, 1, from Point Hope, is a scraper consisting of a small (lint 
blade fitted into a handle of mammoth ivory. On the inside is a. shal- 
low depression for the reception of the thumb, and another above for 
the first and second lingers; a deep slot across the lower surface is for 
the third and fourth lingers. 

Plate \li x, !>. from Point I [ope, has a blade of brown Hint in a wooden 
handle, which has a deep slot for the thumb on the inner side, two 

►oves for tin' fust and second lingers on the upper surface, and a. 
deep excavation below for the third and fourth lingers. 

Plate XLIX, 6, from Point Hope, is a very (anions specimen, roughly 

angular in shape; the chipped Hint blade is fitted into a groove in a 
wooden handle, which has a huge bine bead inlaid on the Upper pari ; 
on t he inside is a deep slot for the recept ion of the point of the thumb; 
along t he front of t he top is ;i deep excavat ion bordered above 4 by three 
Or the ends of three lingers, and on the outside a hollow for 
1 h<- little finger. 






Another form of scraper, used specially for cleaning - the skins of 

birds and small mammals, is somewhat knife-like in shape. Plate L, 5, 
is a specimen of this type of implement from Xunivak island. It is 
made of dcerhorn with a slightly spoon-shape blade, and has incised 
parallel lines across the upper side of the handle. 

Plate L, 6, from Big lake, is also of deerhorn, and is somewhat simi- 
lar in shape to the preceding. 

Plate l. 3, from Ikogmut, is of ivory. The edge is sharp and across 
the butt of the handle is a series of notches forming short teeth, which 
arc used in cleaning fat, blood, and other matter from among the 
feathers or hair of the skins and for softening hard spots. On the 
lower side of the handle are four round projections, each pierced with 
a large hole, and on the back etched lines form a conventional pattern. 

I Mate l, 2, from Norton sound, is another of these ivory knife-like 
scrapers with a notched butt. 

Plate L, 15, from Norton sound, is an ivory scraper generally similar 
in form to the preceding, but lacking the toothed butt. 

Plate L, 1, from St Michael, is of ivory and has a number of small 
knobs on the handle and a coarsely-toothed butt. 

Plate l. I, from Cape Prince of Wales, also of ivory, has a long, taper- 
ing blade and a toothed butt. It has tour grooves on the lower side of 
the handle to form a grip for the lingers. 

Plate L, 0, from St Michael, is a ruder implement of this kind, semi- 
lunar in shape and with a flat back. 

Plate L, 11, from Point Hope, is a tray-shape implement about 4 
indies long and 2J inches wide, deeply excavated inside and with a 
sharp edge all around the exterior rim. It is used by placing the 
thumb inside with the lingers grasping the back and pressing either 
side or end against the skin. 

Plate L, L2, is a rudely made scraper from the Diomede islands. 

Plate l, 8, from Point Hope, is a scoop-shape scraper made from 
fossil mammoth ivory; the inside is slightly excavated and the lower 
v(\^v is sharpened. It is used by placing it in the palm of the hand 
with the grooved end resting against the inside of the lingers, the con- 
vex under sin lace against the palm, and pushing it from the operator. 
This is the only implement of this kind that was seen, all the other 

scoop-shape scrapers being used by drawing toward the person. 

Plate i.. 7. from Sledge island, is a flat rod of deerhorn beveled to an 

edge on one side; cadi end is pierced with two holes in which a strong 
rawhide COrd N fastened, by Which the ends are drawn toward each 
other until they form a hor>eshoe shape curve : it is \\>v<\ by grasping 
the cross COrd and drawing the ed^i^ of the scraper along tin' skin 

tow aid t he operator. 

Plate L, L8, from Kotzebue sound, is a scraper made from the shoulder- 
blade of ><> me animal ; t he butt is sawed down and shaped to serve as a 
handle; the outer end is also CUl off and the thin lower portion cut to 

a b1 raighi edge. 



[BTH. ANN. 18 

Plate L, 13, from Ghalitmut, is a deerhom scraper with a well shaped 
upcurved handle, a blade formed like an obliquely truncated half of a 
spoon, and a sharpened edge. 

Plate i.. L6, from Sledge island, and figure 17, of the same plate, from 
the lower Yukon, arc sections of decrhorn with one surface flattened 
and cut to a sharp edge. 

I Mate L, 11. obtained on Si Lawrence island by Captain C. L. Hooper, 
Is a crescent shape piece of reindeer horit with a sharp edge, ilat upon 
one side and beveled to three surfaces ou the other, with a groove run- 
ning down the center of each. 

Plate L, 10, from St Lawrence island, is of ivory, dish-shaped, some- 
what oval in outline and nearly straight on the upper or thicker side; the 
other side is curved and thinned down to a sharp edge. It is used by 
resting the thumb on the interior and grasping the back with the first 
and second fingers. 

Plate xlix, 1, obtained by Mr L. M. Turner at St Michael, is a rounded 

bowlder-like piece of 
r% granite about 5 inches in 

its longest diameter for 
rubbing and softening 
skins; the lower surface 
is smoothed and polished 
by use. 


Among the Eskimo it 
is customary for the men 
to dress the skins of large 
animals suck as rein- 
deer, wolves, wolver- 
ines, bears, seals, and walrus, while the women prepare the skins 
of smaller creatures such as fawns, hares, muskrats, marmots, and 
waterfowl, and sometimes assist the men in the preparation of the 
larger skins. 

In dressing sealskins and walrus hides they are first scraped to free 
them from the adherent particles of flesh and fat, then rolled into a 
bundle with the hair side inward and kept in the house or the kashim 
until they become sour and the hair loosens; small sealskins are some- 
times dipped in hot water to hasten the loosening of the hair; the hair 
LS then scraped oil* and the skin is stretched on a wooden frame, made 
from sticks of driftwood (figure 32), by stout cords passed through 
slits mound the edges and over the side bars of the frame, when they 
are again scraped and placed outside the house to dry. When dry 
t hey are removed from the frames and folded compactly into Hat, oblong 
pac (figure 33), for convenience in carrying or storing. If the 

in 18 lo Ih- tanned with the hair on, for use in making boots or 

]'i'.. 32— Stretched sealskin. 



SKIN SCRAPERS one-fourth 


clothing, it is soaked thoroughly in urine to remove the fat, then 
stretched, scraped, and dried in the manner described. 

The beautifully white, parchment-like leather used for boots and 
ornamental work is made from small sealskins from which the hair lias 
been removed. The skin is then soaked in urine to free it from the oil, 
stretched upon the drying frame and exposed in the open air during 
the coldest months of winter; the intense cold and the beating of the 
dry snow upon the surface of the skin bleaches it to a satiny whiteness. 
A liner quality of white leather is obtained from the gullets of large 
seals and walrus treated in the same manner. The russet-colored seal- 
skin, used for ornamental work, is made by washing the surface of (his 
white, parchment-like leather with dye obtained from alder bark. 

The skin of the wolf-fish (Annarrichas lupus), called kd-chu-hlulc by 
the Eskimo, when stretched and dried makes a thin, blackish, parchment- 
like material, which is cut into narrow strips and frequently welted into 
the seams of boots and other articles of clothing, or used for other 
ornamental purposes. The white woolly skin of the new-born fur seal, 
after being tanned, is dyed a rich brown by an infusion of alder bark 
and cut into narrow strips for borders to 
garments or for making tassels for boots _..--''"""" 

and frocks. 

To tan reindeer skin with the hair on, 

the fleshy side of the skin is wetted with w... ■ ,. ..."i.. 

urine: it IS then rolled into a compact / i / 

handle, with the hair side outward, and "\ : L _ __./ 

permitted to remain a few hours in the ^ ■., : ......./ 

warm kashim, after which it is unrolled ^ 00 Ar , '' ,,. 

7 Fig. 33— Method of folding sealskin. 

and any remaining fragments of sinew T or 

flesh are removed with a scraper. It is then dried and again thor- 
oughly scraped and hung up open in the kashim while a lire is 
burning, and dried until it becomes hard and almost as brittle as 
pasteboard, when it is taken down and scraped carefully and lightly 
on the inner side. This breaks the grain of the leather and covers 
the epidermis a1 the roots of the hair with numberless little clacks, 
rendering the skin very pliable. After this treatment the skin is 

scraped again more thoroughly, and boiled fish eggs, while still warm, 
are rubbed on the inner surface. It is then rolled np and permitted to 

lie for ;i tew hours, after which it is unrolled and worked and rubbed 

between the hands until it becomes dry and >oft : a final scraping then 

removes anj remaining roughness or adherent matter and completes 
the process of tanning. Reindeer skins tanned in tins manner are 

beautifully white on the inside and the leather is as soft and pliable as 

chamois skin, 
Small skins are soaked in urine to remove the fat, after which they 

aie Stretched and worked with the bands and finally rubbed with 

pieces of pumice until dry. I frine is so much used in tannins and for 


other purposes thai every house is provided with one or more tubs in 
which a constantly renewed supply is kept. 

Edarmot skins and the skins of muskrats and birds are rubbed and 
worked in the hands, after which the women use their teeth to chew 
the harder parts to render them soft : they are then stretched and 
dried and a Blight wash of oil IS applied to render them more pliable. 

The skins of salmon and losh are dressed and used for making bags, 
boots, mittens, and waterproof garments by the Eskimo of the lower 
Yukon. The intestines of seals, cleaned and inflated, are dried, and 
form a kind of translucent parchment, which is cut into strips and 
sewed to form the waterproof frocks worn by the men when at sea in 
the kaiaks or when out on land in rainy weather. These garments 
will shed water for several hours. Coverings for the smoke holes in 
loots of houses and kashims are made of this material, which is used 
also for covering bedding during transportation or in open camps. 

The Eskimo who live away from the coast, lacking the sea animals, 
use the intestines of deer and bears for similar purposes. 


( )wing to the rapid extermination of reindeer in the neighborhood of 
the coast of Norton sound, the natives depend on hunting the various 
kinds of seals and on fishing for their main supply of food. For over a 
hundred miles along that coast, during my residence at St Michael, not 
a dozen reindeer were killed each year. Twenty years earlier reindeer 
were extremely numerous throughout the same district, but the intro- 
duct ion of firearms, after the Americans took possession of the country, 
resulted in a wasteful slaughter by the natives, who soon succeeded in 
virtually exterminating these animals in the larger portion of the coast 

Before the introduction of firearms the Eskimo had various ingenious 
modes of capturing and killing deer. They were stalked in the usual 
manner by hunters, armed with 'bows and arrows, who approached the 
herds by creeping from one shelter to another until within bow shot. 
At other times two hunters went together, and when a herd of reindeer 
was seen one of the hunters walked immediately behind the other, so 
that their two bodies were in contact. Then, while keeping step as 
one man. they walked directly toward the herd. The deer would per- 
mit them to come within a certain distance and then make a .wide cir- 
cuit for the purpose of passing behind the advancing hunters; the man 
in the rear then took advantage of the first hollow or other shelter to 
throw himself on the ground and lie hidden while his companion con- 
tinued onward, apparently without paying the slightest attention to 
the game; as a result the deer would circle in behind him, and while 
watching him were almost certain to run within bow shot of the con- 






cciiled hunter: when they were near enough he would spring up and 
discharge his arrows: this would distract their attention from the first 
man, who in the meantime had also concealed himself. In running to 
escape from the hunter who had just discharged his arrows, the game 

would frequently circle within shot of the other man and become so 
contused as to run wildly back and forth, approaching each man in 
turn several times before the survivors regained their wits sufficiently 

to make their escape. 

Another method was to close the lower end of a rocky pass through 
which the deer were accustomed to travel, and then make a drive from 
the open valley and inclose an entire herd at once, when they were 
killed with lances and arrows. The people said that in cases of this 
kind they were accustomed to kill every deer thus inclosed, with- 
out regard to number, and that frequently such large numbers were 
killed that they were unable to utilize them, and they were left where 
they fell. 

Deer were also snared with strong nooses of rawhide, which were 
tied to stout bushes and held open by light strings of grass or sinew con- 
necting them with other bushes, or with small 
stakes planted in the ground. In feeding, the 
deer would entangle their antlers or thrust in 
their heads, so that they were held or strangled 
by the nooses closing around their necks. 

Another method practiced by the young men 
in early summer, when the fawns were born, was 
to look for them, and when a fawn only a few 
days old was found they would run it down. 
The hunters considered this sport to be a great 
test of agility and endurance, for instead of 
shooting the fawn with arrows, as might readily 
have been done, it was a matter of pride to pursue the animal until 
it became so tired and its feet so tender that it stopped and permitted 

Itself to be captured. 

At the time of my visit to Point Barrow in L881, reindeer were still 
common in the low mountains to the south and southeast of that place, 
but it had become very easy to obtain breech loading guns and ;ininiu 
nition from the whalers, and the people were destroy ing the deer very 
rapidly. One old man and his son. it wns claimed, had nearly live 
hundred Bkins in storage, and others had an abundance of them. 

Dall's sheep were also killed in huge numbers by these people and 
by the Eskimo of Kowab river, judging from t he Dumber of skins -con 
among them. 

Figure -'>\ shOWS ;i model of ;i deer Snare from the lower Yukon: it 

consists of two straight stick-, to the larger of which the end of the 
snare is firmly attached, while the outer side <>i the loop is lightly held 
by a smaller stick which & bo keep tin- Bnare in place. 

I'lu. 34— Model of a deer 


This method of snaring deer is illustrated in figure 35, which repre- 
sents a boot-sole ereaaer from Nushagak. It is etched on three sides, 
and on the side shown arc two reindeer caught in rawhide snares, with 
another snare still set between them. 

The white bear is found only at very rare intervals on the mainland 
south of Bering strait. A single young white bear was killed a few 
miles south of St Michael during my residence there, and was said to 
have been the firsl one seen in many years. On St Lawrence island they 
are frequently seen on the ice during winter and spring. The hunters 
there kill them by concealing themselves among* the ice hummocks in 
the course the bear is pursuing, and as he passes shoot him in the head 
between the eye and the ear. This spot is chosen on account of the 
thinness of the skull, as the .44-caliber breech-loading guns which 
they use have not power enough to kill the bear if shot in any other 
part. I saw a great many skulls of these animals on Jthe island named, 
and all of them had bullet holes in the same place. 

From Point Hope to Point Barrow bears are not uncommon, and a 
number of Eskimo living along the coast from Bering strait northward 
have been frightfully disfigured by encounters with them. A man 
from Point Hope told me of an encounter with one of these animals 

that took place near his vil- 
lage in the winter of 1880. 

Two men left the village and 

FlG. 35— Etching on ivory, showing deer snares (§). Weilt Ollt Oil the Sea ice dur- 

ing the night to set their nets 
for seals; while they were setting the nets, at some distance from each 
other, one of them heard the snow cracking under the feet of a white 
bear which was approaching. The hunter was without weapons of any 
kind, and as it was too dark to see the animal he quietly lay down flat 
upon his back on the ice, hoping to escape notice. The bear came 
directly up to him, and stopping, began smelling along his body, until 
finally he pressed his cold muzzle against the hunter's nose and mouth 
and sniffed vigorously several times. As he did this the hunter held 
his breath until his head swam. Suddenly the bear heard the other 
hunter moving about and raised his head to listen; then he sniffed at 
the hunter's face again and started off on a trot toward the other man. 
When the bear had been gone a few moments the prostrate hunter 
sprang to his feet and tied for his life toward the shore, hearing the 
death cry of his comrade as he ran. About noon the next day, when 
the sun came to the horizon, the villagers armed themselves and went 
out on the ice, accompanied by the wife of tin' missing hunter. They 
reached the place at dawn and found the bear still feasting on the 
hunter's remains. The wife tired the first shot at him, followed by the 
Others, and the bear fell; then the woman drew a hunting knife and 
rushing at the bear slashed its sides until the skin hung in shreds, 
when sin- stopped from exhaustion. 




Another man in that region has the scalp and flesh from one side of 
his head, including one eye, torn away by a stroke from the paw of one 
of these animals. 

Formerly, after bears had been brought to bay by dogs they were 
killed with stone or iron-pointed lances, and, indeed, the people of the 
Siberian shore still kill many in this old fashion. 

Wolves are killed with gnus or arrows or are taken with various 
kinds ot traps; steel traps have been introduced by the traders, but 
the ancient devices are still sometimes used for both wolves and foxes. 

One of the common methods of killing wolves in ancient times, which 
is still practiced to a slight extent, was by the use of 
spits made of whalebone. A slender piece of bone, 8 
or 9 inches in length and a third of an inch wide is 
pointed at each end, and, after being softened, is bent 
upon itself in folds 1 J or 2 inches in length. It is then 
bound in position by a strip of cord and laid aside until 
it becomes dry, when it retains the form in which it has 
been bent. The cord is then taken off and the whale- 
bone is soaked in oil for a short time, then wrapped in 
tallow, blubber, or sometimes a piece of fish skin, after 
which it is placed in a locality frequented by wolves 
and foxes. 

Discovering this morsel the animal begins to devour 
it, but finding that it is not easily masticated, swallows 
it entire, doubtless mistaking it for a piece of gristle. 
When the whalebone becomes warm and is moistened 
in the stomach, it straightens out and the pointed ends 
pierce the beast to death or cause such pain that it 
is soon found and dispatched by the hunter who has 
followed its trail. 

Figure 30 shows examples of this implement both in 
the folded and extended form; they were obtained at 
St Michael. Dead falls, used as traps for minks, foxes, 
and sometimes for larger animals, are made by build- 
ing a small in closure of sticks driven into the ground, 
over the entrance to which a heavy log is supported by an ordinary 
4 shape device. 

Plate i.i. '*•. illustrates ;i bait spit for use in one of these « 4-trap-.** 
which was obtained ;it Port Clarence by Doctor Dall. It consists ofa 

double-pointed bone spit about seven inches in Length, with ;i notch an 

inch from one point, against which is fastened the end of another bone 
spit restin qsI the notch, and projecting at the other end opposite 

the point oi the first named. 

Near Andreivsky I saw snares for catching lynxes made by building 
a dome-shape pile of brush, with one or more narrow openings leading 
to the bait, which was placed on the ground under the center. Ai the 

I'm,. :;i;_< lame spits. 

1 2 2 


(Kill. ANN. IS 

month of eacb of these openings a rawhide loop was bo arranged that 
the lynx oonld not reach the bait without getting its head or legs 
entangled, and as the animal drew hack t he snare would elose and hold 
it fast. 

Another common style of snare was made by setting a noose over a 
path used by animals and digging a deep hole in the ground below it. 
To the lower end of the snare a heavy stone was attached, hanging in 
the month of the pit: the upper part of the snare was held open by 
attaching it by strings to surrounding objects, and a trigger was so 
arranged that at a touch from a passing animal the stone would be 
freed and drop into the hole, causing the snare to close and draw the 
animal's neck down to the ground and hold it fast. 

Sometimes a noose was set at the entrance to a tunnel made in the 
frozen snow, with a bait of meat at the rear end, and in endeavoring 
to reach this the animals were snared. I was informed that animals as 
large as reindeer, and even bears, were formerly caught by means of 

snares, and that 
they were in gen- 
eral use for tak- 
ing red and white 

South of the 
mouth of the Yu- 
kon the Eskimo 
formerly made 
pits for catching 
wolves by dig- 
ging in summer 
square holes 
down to the per- 
manently frozen earth, and then making a wall about the sides and 
grading the earth in a gentle slope up to the outside edge, thus making 
a pit so deep that no animal could jump out: it was then covered with 
a frail roof concealed by straw and weeds, with the bait laid on the 
center. In winter the roof was covered with snow. According to the 
old men this was the commonest style of trap used in ancient times, 
and with it many animals were caught. 

One of the most ingenious traps found among the Eskimo was one 
by means of which the tension of a set of strong, twisted sinew cords 
was used to throw a lever and brain the animal that sprung it. These 
traps were known to the people from the northern shore of Norton 
sound to Kotzebue sound: they are not now used on the American 
eoiist, as they have been superseded by steel traps, but I was informed 
that formerly they were in common use. 

On St Lawrence island were found many pieces of such traps that 
e large enough to kill foxes, and from this I conclude that they ;ire 

•- 1111 i" use in thiii district. The accompanying sketch (figure 37) from 

FlG. 37 — Fox or wolf trap with sinew spring. 



NETS, SNARES. AND TRAPS three-sixteenths 

ne.son] TRAPS AND SNARES 123 

a model made by an Eskimo living at the head of Norton sound, shows 
tln i parts and illustrates the working of this ingenious contrivance: 

1 — 1 is a cylinder of wood, that material or bone ordinarily being used 
for these traps; 2 — 2 are crosspieces of wood or bone, bound together 
by strong sinew cords: 3 is an ivory or bone block; 4 is an ivory or 
bone pin, Sitting into 3, and is attached to a cord passing through a 
hole in the cylinder to the bait at 10; 5 is a slot cut through the side 
of the cylinder; G is a stout lever of bone with a knob at its inner end, 
which is inserted through the cords connecting 2 — 2; 8 is a pointed 
spike of bone or ivory (a nail is sometimes used on St Lawrence island); 
7 is a peg projecting from the side of the lever. 2 — 2 are twisted in 
opposite directions until the twisting of the connecting cords, which 
pass around them and through the cylinder, causes a strong tension, 
thus holding the crosspieces so firmly against the ends of the cylinders 
that they can not slip back. This also draws the cord so taut in the 
cylinder that when the lever, 0, is drawn back to lie parallel with 9, a 
great resistance is encountered, acting like a spring to throw it back 
to its first position. The lever, (>, is held in position next to ( .) by pass- 
ing 4 over 7 and into 3. The bait is tied to the end of a cord attached 
to 1 at 10. so that it lies just within S. The trap is then fastened firmly 
to the ground and concealed with earth, but care is taken to insure the 
free working of the lever. The bait is then exposed in line with the 
lever and when a slight pull is given, the pin, 1, is freed and the lever 
Bprings sharply over, burying the spike set in its end in the skull of the 

These traps work very nicely and strike a heavy blow. They are 
ordinarily made for killing foxes and wolves, but I was told that 
formerly they were sometimes used for bears. 

Figure L3, plate LI, illustrates a cylinder for one of these traps from 
Si Lawrence island. It is 12 inches long and 5 inches in diameter, and 
is made from a piece of the jawbone of a whale. It is capped at each 
end by a ring of bone held in position by four iron nails. A deep notch 
is cut in the middle of one side of the cylinder, at one end of which is 
;i -lot and at the other a round hole through the side. 

Figure ll, plate li, from the same Island, is a lever made of bone, 
forked, and armed at the outer end with iron spikes. The inner end 
terminates in a rim of bone. This is the Striking arm of one of these 
traps. It has a notch on one side for receiving the trigger. With this 
arm is a bone ring (plate li, 15), pierced with four holes, intended fora 
cap, at one end of t lie cylinder. 

Figure 1~, plate LI, from the same island, represent 9 another Striking 
arm for a trap, with three iron spikes sel in it. 

I'm' trapping beavers in their houses square nets, l or 5 feet aero--. 
with meshes large enough for the heaver's head to pass through, are 
fastened over the entrance to the animal's house below the surface oi 

the water, so that in going out or in the animal will become entangled 
and drown. These net- are sometimes used in the same way forol ters. 


Hans arc snared and netted in spring by Betting the nets or snares 

among the bushes which they frequent, so that they become entangled 
while moving about, or by Betting fine smew nets in open spaces 
among the bushes and then making a drive and frightening the animals 
into them. This method is practiced for taking both the large Arctic 
hare and the white rabbit. 

Parry's marmot is a common animal in many parts of Alaska, par- 
ticularly aboul the head of Norton sound and along the shore of 
Kaviak peninsula. Their skins are highly prized tor making light 
frock 8 lor summer use and form a prominent article of trade among 
these people. They are best when taken early in spring, soon after the 
marmots have come out of their holes and while they are still in the 
soft, grayish winter fur. They are taken in several ways. One method 
consists of a noose fastened to the end of a willow or alder stick 4 or 
5 feet long, with the large end planted firmly in the snow or ground. 
The small end, Inning the noose attached to it, is bent down so that 
the noose hangs just over the marmot's runway in the snow or on the 
ground, and is held in place by a small cross stick above it, which is 
hooked under a stick bent across the runway with its ends thrust into 
the ground. It is fastened so lightly that as the animal passes a touch 
releases the trigger and the bent stick springs up and catches it. 

Figure 4, plate li, is an example of this style of snare from Cape 
Darby. The noose is made of whalebone, and is passed through a 
small wooden cylinder, which causes it to run freely and at the same 
time helps to hold it in position. 

Similar nooses were obtained from the head of Kotzebue sound with. 
the cylinders made from the hollow wing-bones of birds. In these 
latter a hole is made in one side of the bone at the lower end, in which 
is tied the end of a fine rawhide line. This line passes up through 
the cylinder, and has a small, round block of wood tied crosswise at 
the other end of the cylinder. 

Figure 38 is another style of marmot trap, from the head of Norton 

sound, made from a cylinder of wood a little over eight inches in 

length. The cylinder is made in two parts, fastened together by means 

of a willow bark lashing through holes made along the line of junction 

on both sides. A slot is cut through the upper side and a deep groove 

rims around the inside from it, and there are two holes near the other 

end. A strong running noose, made from feather vane or whalebone, 

is inserted through tin 1 upper slot and lies concealed within the groove 

on the inside. At the upper end of the noose is a sinew cord, which is 

attached to a bent stick having one end planted firmly in the ground 

and held in position by a strand of willow bark tied to it, passed down 

through the two holes in the cylinder, and knotted on the under side. 

i he animal comes out of a hole or along a runway, where the trap 

Set, it enters the cylinder, and finding the passage barred by the 

and of willow bark across the end, bites it off. This releases the 




bent stick, whicli tlies up and draws the concealed noose taut about 
the animal's body and bolds it against the upper side of the cylinder 
until it is strangled or the trapper comes to remove it. 

Among the people living to the south of the Yukon month thousands 
of mnskrats and minks are caught every fall and winter in small 
wicker fish traps, such as are used for taking the blackfish | Pallid). 
These traps are set in creeks and small rivers, beneath the ice, with 
a close wicker or brush fence extending as wings from either side and 
completely shutting off the stream except at the opening occupied by 
the funnel-shape month of the trap. In this way from ten to twenty 
mink have been known to be taken in a single day. The traps are 
completely submerged, and, of course, when the animals swim into 
them they are unable to rise to the surface, and quickly drown. At 

Fio. 38 — Marmot trap. 

times animals even as Large as the land otter enter these traps and 
aie taken. 

The skins of minks, mnskrats, and marmots are taken off, by a slit 
between the hind legs, and dried on stretchers, with the llesh side out- 
ward. The stretchers are made by fastening together two long, slender 
sticks by means of crossbars, which permit them to be brought 
together by a hinge like motion and pushed into the inside of the skin ; 
they are then spread, thus stretching the skin and holding it until it 
is dry. This contrivance and the * k iigurc-4 " dead-fall were probably 
introduced by white men. 

Land otters and beavers are taken at their holes by means of steel 

The hunting of Pur-bearing animals of all descriptions commences 

with the first heavy frost of autumn and continues until the short cold 
days of midwinter. Then a period of cessation ensues until February, 


when the hunting and trapping are resumed aud continued until the 

sun in April lenders the Inr too harsh and brittle to be of value. 

The bunting of seals, whales, and walrus is conducted in a variety 
of ways, according to the season. 

Each year about the first of September the hunters on the coast of 
Norton sound begin to overhaul their seal nets, repair broken or weak 
places, and rig them with sinkers and tloats. The nets used are from 
10 to 1.") fathoms in Length and from L£ to 2 fathoms in depth, made 
trom rawhide, with a mesh large enough to admit easily the head of a 
seal: they are buoyed with wooden floats, or sometimes with in Hated 
bladders: the tloats are frequently made in the form of sea fowls or 
the heads of seals. The lower side of the net is strung with sinkers 
of stone, bone, or ivory, and is anchored at each end by a large stone 
tied with a heavy rawhide cord. These nets work precisely like the 
gill nets used for salmon fishing, and are very effective. 

By the middle of September far seals of two or three species begin to 
come in shore and pass about the rocky points or around reefs which 
guard the entrances to the bays and coves which they are in the habit 
of entering. The nets are watched by the owners, and when a seal is 
caught the hunter goes out in his kaiak and brains it with a club or 
stone, fashioned for the purpose; then if the net has been damaged it is 
repaired and reset. 

During the dark nights of midwinter seals are netted beneath the 
ice. The blowholes of the seals are located during the day; at night 
the hunters go out and make four holes iu the ice, in the form of a 
square, at equal distances from the seal hole; a square net is then 
] tlaeed under the ice by means of a long pole and a cord, so arranged as 
to cover the access to the hole from below, and held in place by cords 
passing up through the holes in the ice. When the seal rises to breathe 
it becomes entangled in the net and is captured. This method of net- 
ting is common from Bering strait to Point Barrow. 

Another method of netting seals through the ice was observed on 
the shore between Bering strait and St Michael. In swimming along 
the shore the seals are obliged to pass near the rocky points and head- 
lands. Taking advantage of this, the hunters make a series of holes 
through the ice at intervals of from 10 to L5 feet, and then, by use of a 
pole a little longer than the distance between the holes, a stout sealskin 
line is passed along from hole to hole until the cord is run out to the 
distance desired, and is used to drag the long net below the ice. Sink- 
are fastened to the lower v(\^ of the net, and it is held in position 
at each end by a stout eord tied to a crossbar at the hole or to a stake 
Bet in the ice. While swimming beneath the ice during the night the 
Seals become entangled in the Del and drown. 

For light sinkers on these nets, long, pointed, ivory weights aroused 
by the people from the northern end of Norton sound to the coast of 
Beri ait. 





Figure 17. plate LII, is an example of one of the ivory sinkers from 
Sledge island: it is long, rounded, and tapers from the middle toward 
each end. 

Figure L6, plate lit, from Cape Nome, is another sinker of this de- 
scription, made from a walrus tusk, with three links in the middle. 

Figure IS, plate LII, is a light ivory sinker, from Sledge island, with 
etchings on its surface representing boats and houses. 

Figure 2, plate lji, from Cape Espenberg, is a club used for killing 
seals; it has a rounded, curving, wooden handle, with a rawhide cord 
wound around it to afford a good grip. A rounded knob of bone, 
grooved to lit against the side of the handle, is fastened to the head by 
a lashing passing through two holes and around a groove at the back. 

Figure 5, plate LII, from the head of Norton sound, is an oval brain- 
ing stone, having a groove around the middle and the ends brought 
down to a truncated point. This stone is used on the end of a stout 
cord, which is fastened firmly about the groove. 

Figure 1, plate lii, from Point Hope, is a braining stone of mottled 
black and white color, roughly oval in outline, with a hole pierced 
through one end. in which is fastened a stout rawhide loop, by means of 
which the hunter swings the stone and brings it down upon the head 
of the animal. 

Figure 3, plate lii. from Kigiktauik, is an oval bone head for a 
braining club, with a prominent ridge along the face and truncated on 
t he back ; it is provided with three holes, by means of which it is lashed 
to the handle. 

Figure 23, plate lii, from the Diomede islands, is a tloat for a seal 
net. with a long, flattened handle, oval in cross section and pierced at 
the lower end for attachment to the net cord. 

Figure 22, plate lii, from Gape Nome, is a tloat in the shape of a 
seal head, with blue beads inlaid for eyes and tufts of hair inserted on 
each side of the nose to represent bristles. A hole is pierced through 
the neck, through which the cord is passed for fastening it to the net. 

Figure 15, plate lii, from Point Hope, is a curiously made iloai rep- 
resenting a seal, with a rounded body, terminating at the rear in an 
ivory ring for attachment of a cord; on the back a Larger ivory ring is 
inserted and held n place by a wooden pin. In this ring are linked 
two ivory pendants, having upon their outer surfaces incisions rep- 
uting the eyes, nostrils, and month of an animal, probably a seal. 

The eyes of the seal in the head of the ilont are represented by inlaid 
white beads. 

Figure 21, plate lii, represents the head of a seal, with the ey< 
formed by inlaid blue beads. A large bone ring is inserted in the month, 

from which hang two ivory pendants. 

Figure 26, plate LII, represents a double head seal, with a hole made 
through the wood on the back end for the attachment of the cord, aixl 
an ivory pin, with a single link pendant, inserted in the breast. 


are 25, plate Ln. is a rudely oval, wooden net float, pierced on 
one side. It is from l<-\ cape. 

Figure 24, plate Lii, Prom st Lawrence island, is a wooden net float, 
somewhat rounded in outline, with an car on one side, which is pierced 
wit li a hole for the attachment of the line 

Figure l 1. plate lii, from 81 Michael, are specimens, made from wal- 
rus ribs, of a class of implements which serve a double purpose; they 
arc used as sinkers and as handles tor hauling in the seal or beluga 

Figure 20, plate lii, from one of the Diomede islands, is an elongated 
oval sinker for a seal net, made of walrus ivory; it is surrounded with 
etched hands of zigzag pattern. 

About the end of February the Eskimo from Tiering strait southward 
begin to hunt seals at the outer edge of the shore ice, where the leads 
are open at that season. On the 28th of February, 1880, I met a party 
of people on their way from the head of Norton bay to Cape Darby, 
where they were going to hunt seals on the ice until spring opened. 

At midnight on March 28, the same season, I reached a village on 
the northern shore of Norton sound, as a party of seal hunters came 
in from the outer edge of the ice, bringing several fine, large hair seals. 
The entire village was up awaiting their return, and we were cordially 
welcomed to the ensuing feast, which lasted until well into the morning. 
The entrails and other parts of the viscera were cooked and passed 
around as special delicacies, while the people of the village who had 
come to share in the feast assisted in dressing the animals. 

At this season, also, the people about St Michael begin their usual 
spring hunting upon the ice. They leave their village, hauling their 
kaiaks, spears, guns, and other implements on small, light sledges made 
specially for the purpose. Whenever open water is to be crossed the 
kaiak is launched, the sled placed upon it, and the hunter paddles to 
the opposite side, where he resumes his journey upon the ice. The 
method of obtaining seals at this time is by the hunter concealing him- 
self on the ice close to the water, and from this point of vantage shoot- 
ing or spearing them as they swim along the edge. Sometimes a seal 
is shot or speared while lying asleep on the ice. 

When the ice breaks up, so that there is much open waiter, with 
scattered floes and cakes of varying size, the hunters make long hunts 
in their kaiaks, searching for places where the seals have hauled up 
onto t he ice. 

On the loth ol* May, one season, I met a party of Eskimo between 
Pastolik, near the Yukon mouth, and St Michael. They had umiaks of 
ordinary size on sleds, drawn by dogs, ami were going with, their families 
to t lie outer edge of St M ichael island to hunt seals, planning to return 
to the Yukon mouth in the umiaks when the ice had left the coast. 

I during t he early spring months the small hair seals come up t hrough 

holes in tin- ice to be delivered of their young. These holes are 


sometimes covered by tin 1 hunter with an arch of snow, and the seals are 
surprised and speared as they come up. When stalking these seals as 
they lie sleeping or sunning themselves on the ice, the hunter wears a 

pair of knee protectors made of white bear or white dog skin, which 
reach from just above the knee to the ankle, and have the long shaggy 
fur outward. They are secured upon the leg by strings along their 
edges, like a legging, but they do not inclose the leg in the rear. A 
huge mitten of the same skin, reaching from the hand to a little above 
the elbow, is also worn on the left arm. Armed with a spear, which has 
a long line fastened to a detachable point, the hunter approaches erect 
a> near to the seal as is prudent, then lies flat upon the ice and places 
his bent left arm before him so that the huge fur mitten forms a shield 
between him and the seal. The fur hood is raised over his head, so that 
the long border of gray or whitish fur blends with the mitten. The 
color of the fur harmonizes so well with that of the snow that the hunter 
can creep to within the desired distance of the seal without being 
detected. He is always careful to keep his body Hat and in a direct 
line behind the mitten, and trails his gun or spear behind him with his 
right hand until near enough to make sure of his aim. When stalking 
a seal in this manner the hunter carries a small wooden scratcher, con- 
>i^ting of a neatly carved handle, tipped with seal claws. If the seal 
becomes uneasy or suspicious, the hunter pauses, and with this imple- 
ment scratches the snow or ice in the same manner and with the same 
force a- i seal while digging a hole in the ice. Hearing this the seal 
seems satisfied and drops asleep again. This is repeated, if neces- 
sary, until the hunter is within reach of the animal, when he drives his 
spear into it. braces himself, and holds fast to the line. If close to a 
hole, the seal struggles into it. By holding the line the hunter pre- 
vents its escape 1 , and the animal soon drowns and is hauled out. Of 
late years guns are commonly used fortius class of hunting, and the 
Beal is shot through the head, so that it remains on the ice. 

On the Diomede islands I obtained a typical pair of white bear skin 
knee protectors, having a triangular piece of sealskin sewed on their 
upper edge to extend above the knee, along the leg, and provided with a 
coid which extends t hence up to the waist belt of the hunter. 

Figure 7, plate hi, from Point Hope, is an ivory-handle scratcher 

with a ling in the upper end ; the handle is crescentic in cross section. 

The lower end is divided into t wo parts, on which two claws are held 

firmly in posit ion by n sinew lashing. 
Figure 8, plate lii, from Point Nope, is a similar scratcher with an 

ivory handle, and with three claws titled on the lower end in the same 

manner ;i> in the preceding specimen. The upper end of the handle is 
can <•(! t«» represent the head of ;i seal. 

Figure I), plate lii, from St Michael, is ;i very ancient scratcher 
obtained in the ruins of an old village. It i> made of reindeer horn 

I baa two points formiug aY-shape mid. on which the seal claws 

L8K1 II !> 


were flitted. The handle lias a groove around it for the sinew cord that 

served to hold the claws in place. 

Figure 6, plate i.n, from 81 Lawrence island, is a small scratcher 
with a wooden handle, and with three large claws upon the tip, which 
are held in position in the usual manner by sinew cords. 

Figure 1 1, plate LII, from Norton sound, is a wooden-handle scratcher 
with three claws fastened in position by tine sinew cords passed through 
a hole in the handle. The upper end of the handle is bound with sinew 
cords to afford a firm grip, and a loop of similar cord is fastened to the 
buti for suspending the implement from the wrist. 

Figure 10, plate lii, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a handsomely 
made scratcher with a long wooden handle, having three claws on the 
lower end, attached in the usual manner. The handle is carved on 
both sides, above and below, and terminates in the image of a white 
bear's head, having blue beads inlaid for eyes. 

Figure 4, plate lii, from St Michael, is a rather rudely made scratcher, 
with a wooden handle having four claws at the tip, held in position by 
a strip of rawhide pierced with four holes and drawn over the claws, 
with a tlap extending back on the handle and bound by a cord lashing. 

Another method of approaching seals on the ice is by the hunter 
covering a light framework with white sheeting and placing it upon a 
kaiak sled in such a way as to conceal himself and the sled, which he 
pushes cautiously before him until he is within range and shoots the 
seal with a rifle. Should he not be provided with a rifle, he uses a 
spear, but approaches near enough to be sure of the cast and then 
fixes the barb firmly in the animal's body. 

After having killed a seal at sea the hunter is sometimes able, if the 
seal be small, to drag it upon the kaiak and thrust it inside; but if it 
be large this is impossible, and he is compelled to tow it to the shore or 
to the nearest ice, where it can be cut up and stowed in the interior of 
the kaiak. The towline is made fast to the animal by cutting slits in 
the skin through which cords are passed, or the flippers are tied 
together by cords and drawn against the body and a cord passed 
through a slit in the upper lip and the head drawn down on the breast. 
In order to pass the cord between the slits in the skin without diffi- 
culty, small, slender bone or ivory probes are sometimes used, having a 
notch at the upper end and a groove along both sides. The cord is 
looped and placed over the notched end; the hunter holds the two ends 
in his hands and passes the doubled cord through from one slit in the 
skin to anol her. 

Figure L2, plate lii, represents an implement of this kind obtained 
on Kot/ebiie sound. It is of deerhorn, with a wooden handle fastened 
on by sinew cords and heavily grooved on four sides to enable the 
holder to secure a firm grip. 

During the winter and late in the fall seals are usually fat enough 
to lloat when killed in the water, but in spring, and sometimes at 


other seasons, they are so thin that they sink and the hunter loses 
them. To insure their floating while being towed, it is a common prac- 
tice to make slits in the skin at various points and, with a long pointed 
instrument of deerliorn, to loosen the blubber from the muscle for a 
space of a foot or more in diameter. Then, by use of a hollow tube, 
made from the wing-bone of a bird or from other material, air is blown 
in and the place inflated; wooden pings are then inserted in the slits 
and driven in tightly to prevent the air from escaping. By the aid of 
several such inflated spots the seal is tloated and the danger of losing 
it is avoided. 

Figure 13, plate lii, from Sledge island, is one of the probes used for 
loosening the blubber iu the manner described. It consists of a long, 
curved rod of deerhorn, round in cross section and pointed at the top. 
It is set in a slit made in the round wooden handle and held in position 
by means of a lashing of spruce root. A similar instrument was 
obtained at Cape ]STome. 

Figure 19, plate lii, from Sledge island, shows a set of eight of the 
described wooden plugs, tiattened oval in cross section. They are 
fashioned to a thin, rounded point at one end and are broad and trun- 
cated at the other, giving them a wedge shape. 

During the latter part of August and early part of September nets are 
set near rocky islets or reefs to catch white whales. These nets are simi- 
lar to those intended for seals, except that they have larger meshes 
and are longer and wider. Whales enter them and are entangled 
exactly as fish are caught in gill nets, and, being held under water by 
the weight of heavy anchor stones, are drowned and remain until the 
hunter makes his visit to the net. As these nets are set so far from 
shore that it is impossible to observe them from the land, a daily visit 
i- made in a kaiak to inspect them. Sometimes white whales are cap- 
tured in seal nets near the shore, but this occurs only once or twice in 
;i season. Occasionally a school of these whales, while swimming in 
company, encounter one of these nets set for them and by their united 
strength tear it to pieces and escape. 


The Eskimo have various ingenious methods of taking ptarmigan 
and water fowl. During the winter small sinew snares are set among 
the bashes where tin* ptarmigan resort to feed or to rest. Sometimes 
little brash fences are built, with openings at intervals in which the 

snares are Bel so that the birds may be taken when trying to pass 
through. Figure 10, plate Li, illustrates One of these snares, from Nor- 
ton sound, it consists of ;i stake nearly 1 1 inches in length, having a 

rawhide running noose at inched to its upper end by a sinew lashing: 
a twisted sinew cord aboil! a loot in Length Serves to attach the snare 
and -take to the trunk or branch of an adjacent lni-li. 

Ajs spring opens the male birds commence to moll and the brown 


summer plumage appears about their uecks. At this time they become 
extremely pugnacious and utter loud notes of challenge, which so excite 
other males within hearing that desperate battles ensue. The birds 
occupy small knolls or banks of snow, which give them a vantage point 
from which to look over the adjacent plain. H', when on his knoll, the 
male ptarmigan hears another nttering his call within the area he con- 
siders his own lie Hies to the intruder and fiercely attacks him. This 
habit is taken advantage of by the Eskimo, who stuff the skin of one 
of these birds rudely and mount it upon a stick which holds the head 
outstretched. This decoy is taken to the vicinity of one of the calling 
males, and it is planted on a knoll or snowdrift so that it forms a con- 
spicuous object. The hunter then surrounds it with a finely made net 
of sinew cord supported by slender sticks. Both netting and sticks are 
pale yellow in color, and are scarcely discernible at a short distance. 
The hunter then conceals himself close by and imitates the challenge 
note; the bird hears it and flies straight to the spot. As he flies swiftly 
along within a few feet of the ground he sees his supposed rival, dashes 
at him, and is entangled in the net. The hunter secures him, after which 
he carries the decoy and the net to the vicinity of another bird. 

Figure 9, plate Li, illustrates one of these fine-meshed ptarmigan 
nets, from St Michael. It is made of sinew cord, and is about 16 feet 
in length. At each end it has a wooden spreader, in the form of a round 
stake, about 18 inches in length, tapering at the lower end, to which a 
deerhorn point is securely lashed. In the middle of the net is a similar 
wooden spreader. 

In the collection from Cape Prince of Wales is a similar but stronger 
sinew net (number 43354) having the two end spreaders and three 
wooden sticks for use along the middle of the net for holding it in 

Once when hunting near the Yukon mouth in the month of May, 
while patches of snow still covered the ground in places, I saw my 
Eskimo companion decoy ptarmigan by molding some soft snow into 
the form of a bird; around the part representing the neck he placed a 
bunch of brown moss to imitate the brown plumage. This image was 
placed on a small knoll; from a short distance the imitation of a ptar- 
migan was excellent and the hunter succeeded in calling up several 
birds that were in the vicinity, lie told me that hunters used to call 
the birds in this manner to shoot them with arrows when thev were 


hunting on the tundra ami had no food. 

After the first snow of winter great tlocks of ptarmigan migrate 
southward across the Kaviak peninsula and resort to the valleys of 
Yukon and Kuskokwiin rivers tor the winter. They fly mainly at 
night, and usually begin to move just as it is becoming dusk, when it 
is -till possible to distinguish objects at a distance of 7.1 or loo yards. 
A favorite direction for these (lights is down the valleys of the rivers 

flowing southward into Norton bay. 


When the migrating season commences the people take advantage of 
it to capture the birds with salmon nets. Bach net is from 50 to KM) feet 
in length and is spread open by wooden rods; a man or a woman at each 
end and another in the middle holds the net tiat on the ground: when 
a flock of ptarmigan come skimming along within two or three feet of 
the ground, the net is suddenly raised and thrown against and over 
the birds, so as to cover as many as possible. The persons at the ends 
hold the net down, while the one in the middle proceeds to wring the 
necks of the captured birds. After throwing them to one side the net 
is again placed in position. In this manner a hundred birds or more 
arc sometimes captured in a few minutes. 

Gulls are taken about the northern shore of Norton sound and the 
coast of Bering strait by means of bone or decrhorn barbs, pointed at 
both ends and having a sinew or rawhide cord tied in a groove around 
the middle, the other end of the cord being fastened to any suitable 
object that will serve as an anchor; or a long line is anchored at both 
ends and tloated on the surface of the water with barbs attached to it 
at intervals. Bach barb is slipped lengthwise down the throat of a 
small fish which serves as bait. As the gulls in their flight see the dead 
fish floating on the water they seize and swallow them; when they 
attempt to tly away the barbs turn in their throats and hold them fast. 

Figure 7, plate Li, represents one of these barbs made of deerhorn; 
it was obtained from Norton sound. 

Along the northern coast of Norton sound the people gather the eggs 
of sea fowl from the cliffs by means of seal nets, which they roll into a 
cable and lash in that shape with cords; the nets are then lowered 
over the cliffs and the upper ends firmly fastened to rocks or stakes. 
The eg^ gatherer fastens a sash about his waist, removes his boots, 
and goes down the net, hand over hand, to the ledges below, the meshes 
of the net forming excellent holding places for the fingers and toes; the 
hunter then tills the inside of his frock above the sash with the eggs 
and climbs to t lie top of the cliff. 

In a camp at (Jape Thompson, on the Arctic coast, 1 saw many dead 
murres which had been caught by letting a man down by a long line 
from the to]) of the cliff to the ledges where the birds were breeding; 
there he used a scoop net and caught as many birds as he wished by 
putting it over them while they sat stupidly on their eggs. 

On the islands of Bering strait the people catch great numbers of 
anklets with scoop nets, and also by placing the rudely stuffed skin of 

one of the birds on a rocky ledge and a line mesh net Or snare about 
it. These birds swarm around the rocky cliffs like bees and continually 
alight. Dear each other, SO that the hunter has only to place the snares 
in position and come out of Concealment to take the birds as they are 


Figure 5, plate i.i. illustrates one of these snares from Bt Lawrence 
island. It consists of a wooden stake, about five inches in length, 


having about its tipper cud a wrapping of whalebone which secures 

the middle of another strip of whalebone extending ontward about a 

foot id each direction, each cud of which is made into a running noose. 

Figure L, plate li, represents a set of snares, from Big lake, used for 

catching ducks or other wild fowl about the borders of grassy lakes. 
It consists of a strong spruce root, three or four feet in length, with 

a rawhide cord fastened to each cud, by which it is firmly attached to 
stakes. Spaced at regular intervals along- this root are eight running 
nooses, also made of spruce root, splieed by one end to the main root, 
leaving a point projecting outward about two inches, which serves to 
hold the noose open. The snares are set just above the surface of the 
water across the small openings in the floating grass and weeds, and 
as the birds attempt to pass through they are caught. Similar snares 
of whalebone were obtained along the shore of Norton sound, and 
thence northward to Kowak river and Kotzebue sound. 

An ordinary sling, consisting of a strip of leather in the middle and 
two long strings at each end, for casting a stone, is used among the 
Eskimo from the mouth of the Yukon to Kotzebue sound for killing 
birds. A compound sling or bolas is used for catehing birds by the 
people of the coast from Unalaklit to Kotzebue sound, the islands of 
Bering strait, St Lawrence island, and the adjacent Siberian coast. It 
is used but little by the people around the northern end of Norton 
sound, but in the other districts mentioned it is in common use. 
These implements have from four to eight braided sinew or rawhide 
cords, varying from 24 to 30 inches in length, united at one end, where 
they are usually bound together with a tassel of grass or fine wood 
shavings; at the free end of each cord is a weight of bone, wood, or 
ivory, usually in the form of an oval ball, but occasionally it is carved 
into the form of an animal, as in the specimen from Point Hope, illus- 
trated in figure 8, plate li, which has ivory weights representing live 
white bears, a bird, and a seal. Another example, from Nulukhtu- 
logumut, shown in figure 10, plate li, has four pear-shape ivory balls, 
with raven totem marks etched upon their surfaces at the lower 
ends of the rawhide cords; to the united upper ends are attached two 
white gull feathers to guide the implement in its flight. The specimen 
represented in figure 14, plate LI, which was obtained at St Law- 
rence island, has lour oval wooden balls united by a braided sinew 
cord: another from Tort Clarence, shown in figure 3 of the same plate, 
has six oval balls of bone attached to sinew cords. 

When in search of game the bolas is worn wound around the 
hunter's head like a fillet, with the balls resting on the brow. When 
a flock of ducks, geese, or other wild fowl pass overhead, at an altitude 
not exceeding 40 or 50 yards, the hunter by a quick motion untwists 
the sling. Holding the united ends of the cords in his right hand, he 
seizes the balls with the left and draws the cords so tight that they 

lie parallel to each other; then, as the birds come within throwing 


distance, lie swings the balls around his head once or twice and easts 
them, aiming a little in front of the flock. When the balls leave the 
hand they are close together, the cords trail behind, and they travel 
so swiftly that it is difficult to follow their flight with the eye. As they 
begin to lose their impetus they acquire a gyrating motion, and spread 
apart until at their highest point they stand out to the full extent of 
the cords in a circle four or live feet in diameter; they seem to hang 
thus for a moment, then, if nothing has been encountered, turn and drop 
to the earth. While in the air the cords do not appear to interfere 
with each other, but when the sling reaches the ground the cords will 
be found to be interwoven in a perfect network of entanglement; if a 
bird is struck it is enwrapped by the cords and its wings so hampered 
that it falls helpless. 

It is curious to note the quickness with which this implement 
changes its course if one of the balls encounters any obstruction. At 
Cape Wankarem 1 saw the Chukchi capture many eider ducks by its 
aid, and frequently saw one of the extended balls or its cord touch a 
duck, when the other balls appeared as if endowed with intelligence; 
their course was rapidly changed, and the bird enwrapped as com- 
pletely as if it had been struck squarely by the sling. Owing to the 
space covered by these implements they are very effective when cast 
among a Hock of birds. They are used mostly on low points over which 
waterfowl fly at certain hours of the day. 

The Eskimo of the Yukon delta and the low country to the southward 
make drives of waterfowl on the marshes during August, when the old 
birds have molted their wing-feathers and the young are still unable 
to fly. Salmon nets are arranged by means of stout braces and stakes 
to form a pound with wings on one side; the people form a long line 
across the marsh and, by shouting and striking the ground with sticks 
as they advance, drive the birds before them toward the pound. As they 
approach it. the line of people converge until they reach the wings, and 
the birds, thus inclosed, are driven in and killed with sticks. Thou- 
sands of downy young are thus Slaughtered and thrown away, while 
umiaks are filled with flic larger or adult birds. One of the fur traders 
told me that In' witnessed a drive o!' this kind where about a ton of 
young birds were killed and thrown aside, while several umiaks were 
loaded with the larger birds, among which were many varieties of duck S 
and geese. Thoe drives and the constant egg gathering that is prac- 
ticed every spring are having their effect in rapidly diminishing the 
Dumber of waterfowl in this district. 


The ordinary types of weapons used for spearing seals from a kaiak 
v.irv from l to \.\ feet in length. They have a light wooden shaft, 
rounded or slightly oval in cross section, of about the same size from 

butt to point, with a long, rounded head of hone or ivorv having a 


hole in the tip in which is fitted a wooden socket with an oval slot, to 
receive the wedge-shape base of a detachable barbed point <>i hone or 
deerhorn. The he. ids of some of these spears are shaped into rounded, 
tapering points, which are inserted in the ends of the wooden shafts; 

in others the heads have deep, wedge shape slots iii which the bev- 
eled ends of the shafts are fitted, and have a small shoulder at their 
upper ends to prevent the Lashings from slipping. In all instances the 
heads are held firmly in position by strong lashings of braided sinew 
cord, which sometimes extends up the shaft in a long spiral, witli from 
one to three bands of wrapping at the upper end. inclosing the quills 
of feathers placed near the butt, the other ends of the feathers being 
inserted in deep slits in the shaft, as are also the ends of the sinew 
cord, to hold the wrappings in position. The ivory points for these 
spears are from an inch to three inches in length, and have two or three 
barbs along each side, with the points and edges formed by four beveled 
faces, and are pierced near the base to receive a sealskin cord which 
connects them with the hafts. When the spear is throw r n, the barbed 
point, when imbedded in the animal, is immediately detached from the 
head of the shaft, to which it remains attached only by the sealskin 
cord which has been wrapped arouud the shaft; as it unwinds the 
shaft of the spear is drawn crosswise after the retreating animal, and 
serves as a drag to exhaust its strength and render it more easily over- 
taken by the hunter. The method most frequently used, however, is 
to attach to the barbed point a line about 3J feet in length, which is 
divided at about two thirds of its length into two ends, which are 
attached to the shaft about two feet apart, a little nearer to the head 
than to the butt, and are then wound tightly about the shaft. Plate 
Lin, drawn from a photograph, illustrates the attitude of a St Michael 
man casting a seal spear from a kaiak. 

figure 2, plate liv, from Unalaklit, is made with the head, point, 
and lashings placed upon the hafts in the usual manner, but the butt 
is without feathering. 

figure 1, plate liv, a typical spear of this class, from Norton 
sound, has on the butt three feathers from a cormorant's tail, but is 
otherwise very similar in its finish to the one just described. 

Figure 3, plate liv, from St Michael, is a spear having an ivory head 
fitted upon the shaft by means of a slot. The barbed point is attached 
to the shaft by a line about 1(> inches long, fastened just above the 
lashing which binds the head to the shaft. 

figure 5, plate LIV, from Big lake, has an ivory head, roughly trian- 
gular in cross section, with angles rounded and the butt cut down to 
a smaller size and inserted in a slot on the end of the wooden shaft, 
which is attached to the head by a rawhide lashing passed through a 
hole in the shaft and in the adjoining part of the head. Outside of this 
t he usual sinew lashing holds the shall firmly over the end of the head. 

Figure <», plate liv, from Cape Vancouver, is another spear, with a 
double leathered butt and an i\oiy head carved at the end to represent 

) I 













the head of an otter. The inner end of the head lias a wedge shape 
slot, in which the beveled point of the shaft is fitted; in the base of the 
head is a hole through which a rawhide lashing is passed and wound 
tightly around the projecting sides of the slot, holding the head firmly 
against the shaft. A braided sinew cord is also wound about the shaft 
from the head to the butt, where the featherings are held in place by a 
tight wrapping. 

All the small spears with featherless shafts which were collected 
came from the shores of Norton sound; those with single feathering 
were obtained between Bering strait and the Kuskokwini, and those 
with the double feathering from Nunivak island and the adjacent 
mainland at Gape Vancouver, Chalitmut, and other villages of that 

These spears are the lightest weapons of this character used by the 
Alaskan Eskimo, and serve mainly for the capture of the smaller seals. 
Throwing-sticks are in general use for casting them. 

Figure 1, plate lit, from Nunivak island, is an example of another 
style of seal spear intended to be used with a throwing-stick: the 
head is short and thick and the feathered butt of the shaft has attached 
to it a bladder float, over which is a light netting of twisted sinew cord. 


For taking the larger and more vigorous seals, walrus, and white 
whales, a spear of about the same size and length is used in connection 
with a float and float-board. The dragging of the shaft against the 
water, in the kind of spears just described, is sufficient for retarding 
the flight of the smaller seals after they are struck, but for the larger ani- 
mals the greater resistance of a large float on a long line is required. 
This hitter style of implement is in use from Kotzebue sound to Bristol 
bay. The haft is not feathered, and the head is rather longer and 
slightly heavier than that on ordinary spears of the class just described. 
The heads ire of ivory or bone, and, in the region about Nunivak island 
and the adjacent mainland, are commonly carved into the conventional 
forms of wolves or land otters. 

Figure 7, plate LIV, from Nunivak island, is such ;i spear, witli tiie 
end of the head carved to represent the head of a hind otter, with blue 
beads inlaid for eyes. 

Figure 8, plate LIV, from the lower Knskok wim, is n spear with the 

shafl carved to represent the conventionalized form of a wolf. The 
ivory head has a wedge shape point by which it is fitted to the shaft, 
and is bound firmly in place by a spruce root lashing in place of the 
usual sinew or sealskin cord. 

Figure 10, plate LIV, from the Yukon month, is n spe;ir with the 

ilo;it line and board attached. The barbed ivory point has a triangular 

iron tip inserted in a slot, and is united t<> the bead by a rod of deer- 
horn inserted in a hole in its lower end. The point is pierced through 

the middle for the insertion of a strong rawhide line, which pas 


back ;ind is looped to the lower end of a strong sealskin line six to 
eight fathoms long; connecting the spearhead with the float, which 

consists of the entire skin of a seal with all of tin- openings closed and 
having a nozzle by means of which it is Inflated. A cord loop in the 

front end serves to attach it to the end of the float line, which also 
has a permanent loop for this purpose. 

The float-board consists of a strong, oval hoop of spruce made in two 
U shape pieces, with the ends brought together and beveled to form 
a neatly fitting joint, which is wrapped firmly with a lashing of spruce- 
root; the sides have holes by which a thin board is fastened to the 
under side, the ends of which are notched in front to form a coarsely 
serrated pattern with five points that are inserted in slots cut in the 
front of the hoop. The front of the board is oval, and the sides taper 
gradually to the points of two projecting arms, which extend four or 
live inches behind the bow; between these arms n deep slot is cut, 
with the inner .border rounded. The board has a round hole in the 
center and a crescentic hole on each side (plate liv, 10). 

On the kaiak the fioat-board is placed in front of the hunter, with 
the arm-like points thrust beneath the cross lashing to hold it in posi- 
tion, and upon it lies the coil of float line with the spear attached and 
resting on the spear guards ou the right rail of the boat; the end of 
the line is passed back under the hunter's right arm to the float which, 
fully inflated, rests on the deck just back of the manhole. 

When the spear is thrown the coil runs off rapidly and the float is 
thrown overboard. In some cases, when the prey is vigorous and leads 
a long pursuit, another line, like that shown in figure 9, plate LIV, is 
made fast through the semilunar orifices in the center of the fioat-board, 
which latter, when drawn through the water by means of this cord, 
a --iimes a position nearly at a right angle to the course of the animal 
and forms a heavy drag to impede its progress. 

When hunting on the ice the float-board, with the line coiled upon it, 
is carried in the left hand of the hunter and the spear in the right hand 
while he watches along the borders of the leads or holes for the appear- 
ance of the seal. When he succeeds in striking it, he holds firmly to 
the line until the animal is exhausted, or if necessary the tloat-board 
attached to the line LS cast into the water, while the hunter hurries to 
his kaiak and embarks in pursuit. 

In addition to the smaller spears used in connection with the throw- 
ing stick and fioat-board, larger spears are used to cast directly from 
the hand. These spears have a stout wooden shaft from four to seven 
feet long, with a linger-rest of bone or ivory lashed on at about one 
third of its length from the butt. The head is of bone or ivory, rounded 
and fitted to t he wooden shaft by lashings in a manner similar to that of 
the smaller spears. It is pierced near the base for the reception of the 
line by which it is attached to the shaft. Several feet o I' this line are 
and about t he shaft, so < hat when the point is detached the cord will 
unw ind and t lie -halt will form a drag to impede the animal in its efforts 







to escape. Figure 2, plate LVa, is a typical spear of this kind from 
St Michael. 

Figure 3, plate LVa, illustrates a typical example of this kind of 
spear which was obtained at Sledge island. The shaft is a little over 
six feet long, tapering from the middle toward both ends, the upper 
end being the smaller. The private mark of the owner is marked on 
the shaft in red and black paint. The head is held in place by a com- 
bination of sinew and rawhide lashings. Spears very similar to this 
are in common use on the shores of Norton sound and Bering strait. 

Figure 1, plate LVa, from Norton sound, is an example of the large 
spear used in that locality. 

Figure 8, plate lv«, is another spear of this kind, about seven feet in 
length, from Fort Clarence. The shaft is strongly lashed with rawhide 
in several places, the lashings being held in place by small bone pins, 
and a strong finger-rest in the form of a seal-head is attached to one 
side for use in casting; the butt has a tapering, rounded point of bone, 
fastened by a rawhide lashing which passes through an orifice in the 
bone. The bone head is inserted in a groove in the wooden shaft, 
against which it is held firmly by a rawhide lashing; an ivory rod 
about seven inches in length is inserted in the top and on it is fitted 
the detachable harpoon point, the tip of which is slit and a triangular 
piece of brass inserted to form a sharp point. The detachable point 
has a hole through which is passed the cord which attaches it to the 

Figure 7, plate LY(( 1 from Sledge island, is a similar but shorter 
walrus and whale spear, having the bone head worked into an image 
of a white bear's head, with pieces of blue beads inlaid for eyes. 
Spears of this character were found also in use along the coast of 
Kotzebue sound and northward to Foint Farrow. 

Prom St Lawrence island a similar but ruder spear of this kind was 
obtained. It has a long, rounded shaft, with a small ivory head and a 
finger-rest ;ii the middle; the short bone tip at the butt is sharpened 
to a wedge-shape point. Tliis specimen, which measures nearly eight 
feet, is the Longest of any of the spears that were seen. 

Figure 6, plate LVa, from Norton sound, is a spear used for walrus 
ami whales, somewhal similar in general character to those already 
described, but the long, slender shaft has a spur- Shape point of bone 

inserted in its upper end and fastened by a rawhide cord. This pro- 
jects obliquely from the shaft instead of being in line with it, as in the 
other specimens described. The usual lashings of rawhide are around 


the shaft, but the bone head is smaller and terminates in a knob, in 

which is inserted the bone peg on which is fitted the detachable point. 

This point has a fiat, triangular, iron tip and a hole through the base 

for the attachment of a stout rawhide cord that passes backward 
through two grooves in the bone head and thence along the shaft to 
the butt, where it is coiled and attached to a float. 

Figure 5, plate LVa, from Chichinagamut, is the style of large hand 


spear used on Nunivak island and the adjacent mainland, between the 
Yukon and tlu 1 Kuskokwim. A deerhorn peg is inserted in the side of 
the shaft to serveasa finger-resl for casting. The shaft is Largest near 

the head, round in cross section, and tapers gradually back to the 
truncated tip. A modification of this style is seen in figure 1, plate 
Lva, from Pastolik, which has the finger-rest formed of a small bone 
pin inserted in the side of the shaft, but with the latter oval in cross 
section and tapering each way, like the Norton sound spears of this 


The sealskins used as floats in connection with spears in capturing 
Large seals, walrus, and white whales, are taken from the seals entire 
and are tanned usually with the hair removed. To stop the holes made 
in them by spears or in other ways, and to prevent their fastenings from 
Incoming loose and the consequent loss of the float and the game, plugs 
of wood, bone, ivory, or deerhorn are used, which are stud-like in form, 
with spreading heads and a deep groove aroutid the side. The hole in 
the skin is first sewed up or patched, if necessary, leaving a very small 
orifice, through which the stopper is pressed until it projects far enough 
on the inside for the workman to wrap a stout lashing of thin rawhide 
or sinew cord around the groove and make it fast. This work is done 
through a hole left open at the muzzle of the skin, after which the 
nozzle through which it is inflated is inserted and fastened by rawhide 
lashings. Some of these stoppers are plain, but most of them have the 
upper surface carved in a great variety of ornamental designs. 

Figure 5, plate LVia, illustrates a specimen of one of these stoppers 
obtained at Konigunugumut, having the top in the form of a cone. 

Figure 7, plate L,xia y from Xubviukhchugaluk, has a conical head 
with half of a blue bead set in the top. 

Figure 1. plate LVia, from Konigunugumut, has an oval head. 

Figure 4, plate lvi «, from the same locality, has an oval head with 
the raven totem sign etched upon its surface. 

Figure 6, plate LVTfl, also from the same locality, has around, flat top, 
with two concentric circles surrounding a wooden plug setin the center. 

Figure 3, plate lvi a, from ('ape Nome, has the top surrounded by a 
circle with an inlaid bead in the center and a conical base. 

Figure 10, plate i.\ I a, from (Jape Nome, has the top in the form of a 
seal's head, with the eyes, nostrils, and ears indicated by round wooden 
pegs inlaid in the ivory. 

Figure 14, plate LVI a, from Sledge island, is a large, round, wooden 
plug, on the surface of which are three concentric incised circles. 

Figure L3, plate lvi a, from ('ape Vancouver, 1ms the upper surface 
very Slightly rounded and bearing the features of a woman in low 
relief. The eyes, nostrils, and mouth are incised; there are two Labrel 
holes on each side of the lower lip, and radiating lines from the middle 
of the nioiit h indicate tattooing. 



Figure 1~>. plate lvi a, from Agiukchugumut, is of ivory and has ;i 
human lace carved on the surface of the head. 

Figure 9, plate lvi a, from Oape Vancouver, is an ivory plug, oval in 
outline, with the lace of a short-ear owl on its upper surface. 

Figure 2, plate lvi a, from Chalitmut, is a small stopper with the 
face of a seal in relief on its surface. 

Figure 8, plate lvi a, from < 'ape Darby, is a stopper with a stem in the 
form of a link, with its base projecting and pierced with a hole, through 
which a crosspiece 
( f ivory is inserted 
to hold the lashing 
in position. In the 
link, and carved 
from the same piece 
of ivory, is a seal- 
head witli bristles 
set in by plugs of 
wood to indicate the 
whiskers; the eyes, 
nostri Is, and ears 
are represented by 
wooden plugs. 

Figure 12, plate 
LVI a. from Tape 
Darby, Is another 
link plug, having 
carved on it a seal- 
lie a d, the nostrils 
and eyes formed by 
inlaid beads. The 
base has the usual 
constricted neck, 
but is conical in- 
stead of Battened. 

Figure 11, plate 
i, vi <t. from Sledge 
island, is made like 
the preceding, with 
;i conical base attached to the open link by a narrow neck. In this 
link is another one. the outer end of which is carved to represent the 
end of ;m inflated Boat. 

Figure L6, plate l\ i //. from ELushunuk, is ;i long, slender float wit 1 1 an 
ivory nozzle. It is made from the intestines of n seal, and is intruded 
to be attached to the Bhafl of a band Bpear. Some of these floats 
are made from the bladder- or stomachs of seals and walrus, and are 
usually <>vnl in shape. 

Figure 39, from Nunivak island, is a sealskin float, tanned with most 

I'm;. :;'.» - Sealskin floal (about 


of the hair removed. It has an ivory nozzle fitted in the place of one 
oi the fore-flippers. The front of the skin is bent downward and 
wrapped with rawhide cord, with an ivory peg stuck through to pre- 
vent the cord from slipping. The cord has a loose end about three 
feel In length with a loop for attaching it to the iioat line. 

The Qozzles for the smaller floats, which are attached to the shafts of 
spears, are made usually of ivory: they are round and have a projec- 
tion at one end which is pierced for the attachment of a line to bind 
the nozzle to the shaft of the spear; an enlarged rim prevents the 
lashing from slipping off. In some specimens the base is not pierced, 
but a projecting piece is left which is concave on the lower surface and 
convex on the upper and serves to retain the lashing. 

Figure 29, plate lvi a, represents a nozzle or mouthpiece obtained at 
Cape Vancouver. It is intended for a small lioat. 

Figure 24, plate lvi a, is a nozzle from Cape Darby. The projection 
on the side has a single hole for the passage of the cord and a shoulder 
on the projecting end which is grooved for the lashing. 

Figure 27, plate lvl«, from Unalaklit, is another mouthpiece with a 
single flattened hole through its projecting lower side. 

Figure 17, plate lvi a, from Kushunuk, is a large mouthpiece having 
a raven totem mark on one side of the base, which is pierced with three 
holes for the lashings. 

Figure liO, plate lvi a, from St Michael, has two holes through the 
base for the attachment of the cord. 

Figure 18, plate lvi a, from St Lawrence island, is another nozzle, as 
is also figure 11) of the same plate, from Gape Darby. Both of these are 
of ivory, and the latter has etched upon its surface several raven totem 

Figure 21, plate LVI a, from the Yukon mouth, is made of deerhorn, 
and has three holes along the base for the attachment of cords. 

Figure 28, plate lvi a, from Cape Nome, has four holes along the base 
for the attachment of cords. 

Figure 25, plate lvi a, from Konigunugumut, is carved in the form 
of a walrus head, the projecting tusks below forming one side of the 
opening at the base for the attachment of the cords. 

For the purpose of attaching one float line to another when greater 
length is needed, or for joining lines along the shafts of spears, small 
ivory blocks are used, which are made in great variety of form, and 
considerable ingenuity is displayed in carving their surfaces into vari- 
ous figures and patterns. One form consists of a small block with a 
round hole across its length, near the underside. Another larger hole 
runs from below and extends obliquely upward, continuing on the upper 
surface as a groove around the base of an enlarged head on the upper 
side of the block, in which a permanent loop is inserted. When the 
bunter wishes to attach another cord to lengthen his line he passes the 
looped end through the hole on the underside to the upper surface and 





kelson] CORD ATTACHERS 143 

slips it over the head, where it falls into the slot or neck and tonus a 
firm attachment. 

Figure 20, plate lvi/>, represents one of these blocks, obtained at 
Paimut. It is carved on the underside to represent a bear, with the 
fore-paws extended around in front. When this figure is turned over, 
the hind-legs and the tail, which appear on the opposite side, arc seen 
to form the fore-legs of another bear, while the fore-legs of the first 
form t he hind-limbs of the latter. In the space inclosed by the legs of 
the last-named bear is the figure of a seal-head in strong relief, which 
forms the head over which is passed the loop of the cord to be attached. 

Figure 19, plate lyi />, from Chalitmut, is a block having the head 
carved to represent a grotesque face. 

Figure 21, plate LVifr, shows a specimen from Kaialigamut, the head 
of which is carved to form a human face and on the opposite end is 
etched the head of a seal. 

Figure 16, plate lvi />, from Sabotnisky, is a plain block with a deep 
groove cut in the head for the permanent loop, instead of a hole side- 
wise through it. 

Figure 15, plate LVifr, from St Michael, is one of these blocks with 
a grotesque face on the head. Two rawhide loops are placed in it in 
position to show the manner of making the attachment of lines. 

Figure 7, plate lvi/>, from Nulukhtulogumut, has a diamond-shape 
head projecting forward to a point. 

Figure 8, plate LVI 6, from Xunivak island, has an almond-shape 
head, crossed lengthwise by an incised line. 

Figure 22, plate L\ i />, from St Michael, has the head decorated with 
incised concentric circles arranged in two pairs. 

Figure 9, plate LVI 6, from Kushunuk, has the head cut into an oval 
form, with a strong ridge along its top, which turns abruptly down- 
ward in front. 

Figure 6, plate LVI&, from the lower Kuskokwim. has a long, beak- 
like projection for the head, as does figure 5 of the same plate, from 

Figure 23, plate lvi 6, from Askinuk, represents n grotesque counte- 
aance. In it are inserted two Loops to show the method of attachment. 

Another style of cord attache] 1 , commonly used to fasten the end of 
the float line to the short loop on :i detachable spe.irhead. consists of a 
bar like piece Of ivory, pierced with two holes through which is passed 

the end of a rawhide loop, forming the permanent attachment, which 
projects beyond the side oi the bar far enough to permit another loop 

to he run through it, passed over the bar. and drawn hack: the bar 

Ins across tin- end of the second loop and prevents slipping. A.ttachers 

of this kind are commonly made in the form of a double crescent joined 

along one side, having two parallel holes for the permanent loop; the 

upper sides are convei and the lower ones slightly concave. 

Figure L, plate lvi &, represents one of these cord attachers, in tin- 


form of a white whale, with the loop in position to show the method of 
attachment. It is from the coast between Yukon and Kuskokwim 
rivers. Figure 1 1 of the same plate, obtained at St Michael by Mr L. If. 
Turner, is in the form of a seal, and figure 10 shows a specimen from 
the Yukon mouth, also fashioned in the form of a white whale. 

Still another form of these cord attachers consists of a rounded. 
npright block, pierced with two parallel holes for the attachment of the 
permanent loop, just above which is a deeply grooved constriction or 
neck to receive the temporary loop. 

Figure L3, plate lvi/>, shows a specimen of this form of the implement, 
obtained at Askinuk; on it is a human face, with labret holes at the 
corners of the mouth, and a raised rim around the face representing a 
far hood. The raven totem mark is incised on the sides. 

Figure L2, plate lvi&, from Sledge island, is similar in form, and has 
a woman's countenance upon the upper surface, with two labret holes 
in the middle of the lower lip. 

Figure 4, plate lvi&, from Kushimuk, has a grotesque face upon its 
upper surface. 

Km;. 40— Cord attaclier (about f). 

Figure 14, plate LVifr, from Cape Vancouver, has the face of an owl 
upon the upper surface. 

Figure 2, plate i/vt/>, from Kushunuk, has a wolf-head upon the 
upper surface. 

The accompanying figure, 40, from Unalaklit, is very well carved to 
represent a hair seal; blue beads are inlaid for eyes. 

Figure 41 a shows a well carved attaclier from Golofnin bay; at one 
end the nostrils of a seal are indicated by round holes, with the cord 
hole for a mouth; in the top i>s a deep excavation, in the middle of 
which stands a projecting knob carved to represent a seal-head, over 
which the loop of the temporary attachment is passed; on the lower 
side (figure 41 b) is the figure of a whale in relief. 

Figure 3, plate lvi/>. from Kulwoguwigumut, has the upper surface 
plain, except for a median ridge running lengthwise across it. 

Figure L8, plate LVI&, from Norton sound, is a long, Hat-head speci- 
men, with a cord inserted to show the manner of attaching the loops. 

Figure 17. plate lvi6, from Gape Prince of Wales, is a handsomely 
made ivory swivel for attachment to a float line to prevent it from 
becoming twisted by the movement of the float; the block, or maia 
portion, is handsomely carved in the form of a white bear's head, i.i 
which fragments of bine beads are set for eyes. The swivel is formed 
by an ivory rod, about an inch in length, with the head carved in the 



shape <>t" a closed human fist; it is placed in a hole in fcke lower side of 
the bear head and projects to the rear. 

The front ends of large floats are commonly provided with a cross bar 
of ivory, which serves as a handle for raising' them, and at tin 1 same 
time is convenient for looping the lines. 

Figure 26, plate LVTa, from (Jnalaklit, is such a handle bar with the 
head of a seal carved at each end. 

Figure 28, plate law/, from the Dio- 
incde islands, is another such bar carved 
in the form of a woman. 

Figure 22, plate lvi </, from the lower 
Kuskokwim. has one end cut into the 
form of a grotesque head, and figure 30 
of the same plate from Sledge island, 
has upon one end the head of a salmon 
and at the other a seal's hind flippers. 

Figure 31, plate lvi a, from St Law- 
rence island, is a wooden bar, rounded 
in cross section, with a rounded knob 
at each end. 





In addition to the spears for killing 
whales and walrus, two distinct kinds 
of lance- are used by the Eskimo. The 
ordinary form is found generally on the 
Asiatic and American coasts of Bering 
Btraits and thence northward along the 
Arctic coast. It consists of a slender 
wooden shaft, from six to seven feet in 
length, with a rounded point of Hint, 
nephrite, Or other hard stone, held in 
position by rawhide or willow -root iash 
ing8. Ill recent years some of these 

lances have been tipped with Iron, but 

the U8e of stone tor this purpose is con 

nected with the superstition that exists 

among these people which prohibits the 
use of iron in cutting ap these animals. 

Figure 3, plate t.\ />. from Gape Nome, is ;i typical example of tins 
sty le of lance, it basa shaft about 5£ feet in length, oval in cross sec 

tion, with a rounded point of Chipped flint set in the slot at I he end and 

bound firmly in position with a sinew lashing. 

Figure L, plate \.\ />. from st Michael, is a shorter shafted lance, with 

the point made from marble -round down to the leafshape outline 
L8 i.i ii to 

n Cord attacber, obverse and 


common to the stone points of these weapons. Usually the shafts of 
these lances are plain, but a specimen (number 33891) from Norton 
sound, has a finger rest of bone bouud midway on the shaft. 

The other form oflanee is a peculiar one used along the, coast of Nor- 
ton sound, about Nunivak island, and in the region lying between the 
mouths of Yukon and Ivuskokwim rivers. It is from 4 to 4i feet in 
length and has a walrus ivory butt from 20 to 24 inches in length fas 
teiied to the end of the wooden shaft. The end of the butt lias two 
holes, through which a sinew cord is passed and wound tightly around 
the junction of the two parts of the shaft. The head has a round hole 
for the reception of the point, which is held in position by a stout 
lashing of sinew cord. 

Figure 2, plate lv/>, represents a specimen of this kind of lance 
obtained on Nunivak island. It has a butt made from a walrus tusk, 
along each side of which is etched a long, slender figure of an animal, 
having a blue bead inlaid for the eye; the tip of the butt is shaped to 
a tapering point. In the wooden shaft, just above the ivory butt, a 
deerhorn peg is inserted for a finger-rest. 

Another example (number 168579) from Nunivak island has the ivory 
butt etched with the outline of a long arm, with a hand at the lower 
end and the palm pierced. 

Figure 1, plate LV&, from Nunivak island, has a round bone head 
with three deep grooves extending around it, leaving four ridges ter- 
minating in a shoulder next to the shaft, bound in position by a cotton 
cord, evidently obtained from some trader. A long, tapering ivory butt, 
triangular in cross section, is fastened to the wooden shaft, and about 
the junction is a strong binding of cord similar to that used on the head. 

All the points used on these lances are detachable, and every hunter 
carries a small bag made from sealskin or other hide, containing eight 
or ten additional points. 

Figure 17, plate LVlia, from the lower Yukon, is a fish-skin bag for 
holding a set of spearpoints. These points vary somewhat in char 
acter. but are from S to 10 inches in length, with thin, triangular tips 
of stone, glass, iron, or other material. Sometimes the points are made 
of ivory or bone, but this is not common. Slate is perhaps most 
frequently used, and occasionally Hint or iron points are seen. 

figure 5, plate lv />, from Chalitmut, is a lance with a wooden shaft 
on which a raven totem mark is incised. The point to this is of slate. 
beveled on both sides to a sharp vd^i% and set in a wooden foreshaft; 
with it is a wooden sheath, to slip over the point and protect it when 
not in use ( figure 25, plate LVii a). Figure 27, plate i>\ r ila, represents 
another form of these wooden sheaths lor lance points. 

Figure L9, plate LVlia, shows a lance from Port Clarence, Bering 
strait. It has a wooden shaft, with a chipped Hint point inserted in a 
slot iii the end and held in position by a wrapping of whalebone. The 
upper end of the shaft is wrapped with whalebone to prevent splitting, 
and a small lull of seal hair is inserted in a narrow slot on the side. 


Figure 22, plate lvii a, from Cape Nome, and figure lil of the same 
plate, from Norton sound, are Lances of this kind, with the points hound 
to the wooden shafts by wrappings of whalebone. 

Figure 18, plate L,vna,from Unalaklit, has a wooden shaft, with a 
long, slender point of flint, shaped like the tliut arrow-tips used in that 
i egiou for hunting deer. 

Figure 24, plate LViia, from Cape Vaneouver. has a long, gracefully 
shaped head of slate, set in a wooden shaft. 

Some of these lances, instead of a plain wooden shaft or a wooden 
sbafl with an ivory butt, have the upper part or foreshaft made of hone 
or ivory. 

Figure 23, plate a, from the lower Knskokwim. has a bone fore- 
shaft set in a slot in the wooden shaft and held in place by a sinew 
lashing. It has a triangular slate point, between which and the fore- 
shaft is a deep notch forming a barb. 

Figure 26, plate lvii a, from Anogogmut, has a bone foreshaft with a 
triangular slate tip. The foreshaft is excavated at its posterior end 
for the reception of the end of the wooden part, which is thrust into 
this hole without other fastening. 

Figure 1<>, plate lvii a, from Chalitmut, has an ivory foreshaft with a 
triangular iron point set in a slot in its end. On the side of the fore- 
shaft a sharp-pointed ivory spur is set, pointed backward, and made to 
e as a barb to fix the point in the body of the animal. With this 
specimen is a neat sheath, made from two pieces of wood carefully 
excavated to the form of the head and bound together by a spruce-root 
lashis a 

Figure 20, plate lvii ", obtained on Xunivak island by Doctor Dall, 
ha> the head made from a piece of iron riveted to a wooden shaft, 
which is pierced with a hole in which a strong rawhide loop is fastened, 
evidently for attaching the head to the line, so that the weapon could 
be withdrawn and used repeatedly on the same animal. A long sheath 
of wood, wrapped with spruce roots, serves to protect this point when 
not in u-e. 

These lances are used when the seal or walrus ha been disabled, so 
that it can not keep out of reach of its pursuers, when the hunter pad 

dies up close alongside and strikes the animal, driving the detachable 

bead in its entire length. The head remains in the animal, and the 

banter immediately tits another point into the shaft and repeats the 
blow, thus inserting as many of the barbed heads as possible, until 
tin- animal is killed or tin- supply of (joints exhausted. Every hunter 

baa In- private mark cut on these point-, so that, when the animal is 
:i ed, '.eli i- enabled to reclaim his own. 

si'i;\K ami i.\\< r, HEADS 

I igure 34, plate l\ if i>. illustrates a round ivory head for one of the 

smallei seal Spears U&ed with a throwing stick, obtained at Big lake. 

Figure 18, plate lvii 6, represents one of the barbed deerhorn points 


used in the small spears. They arc from St Michael. Figure 17 of the 
same plate shows a seal spearpoiut notched along one side. It also 
came from St Michael. 

Figure 20, plate LVII b, from Norton bay; figure 1<>, plate lvii />, from 
Cape Nome, ami figure 1!>, plate LVII />, from Xunivak island, are exam 
pies of the points used in the large hand spears thrown by means of a 
finger-rest on the side of the shaft. 

Figure 33, plate lvii b, from Anogogmut, is a head for a light spear 
cast with a throwing stick and used in connection with the detachable 
harpoon head and sealskin float. 

Figure 12. plate lvii />, from Kigiktauik, is the point for one of these 
spears made entirely of deerhorn. Ordinarily these points are tipped 
with iron, copper, or stone set in a slot in the end of the point. When 
not in use these points, Avhich have a permanent loop fastened to them, 
are kept in a wooden sheath to prevent the thin metal or stone tip from 
being broken. 

Figure 14, plate lvii b, from Kushunuk, is one of these points having 
a triangular copper tip. On both the front and the back of the point 
raven totem signs are etched. 

Figure 15, plate lvii b, from Kaiali gamut, shows another of these 
points with the sheath in position over the tip. 

Figure 5, plate lvii&, from Chalitmut, is an iron point for a walrus 
spear, fastened to the bone rod which connects it with the spearhead. 
The rod is lashed to a wooden butt Avhich fits into the spearhead. 

Figure 6, plate lvii&, from Sledge island, is a detached point for one 
of these spears with a triangular tip of thin iron. It terminates at the 
inner end in a single beveled point. 

Figure 8, plate lvii b, from Sledge island, is a point for one of these 
spears made entirely from iron worked down to a shape similar to that 
of the others. 

Figure 13, plate lvii&, from St Lawrence island, is a curiously 
shaped point for one of these spears made from bone with a thin iron 
tip inserted in a slot. 

Figure 11, plate lvii/>, from Unalaklit, is a bone point for a large 
hand spear, the inner end terminating in two sharp points. 

Figure 1, plate lvii&, obtained on Nunivak island by Doctor Dall, 
is a good example of a head for a large spear, with a sheath made of 
wood and wrapped with spruce root. 

Figure 7, plate lvii &, from Sledge island, is a specimen of the ivory 
rods used to connect the detachable spearpoiut with the head of the 
spear shaft. 

Figure L, plate lvii &, from Cape Nome, is a walrus ivory spur, such 
;is is used al the butt of the large hand spears for walrus and whales. 
This specimen is very old, and has etched along its surface upon one 
side scenes of whale and walrus hunting in umiaks, and wolves and 
the killer whale upon the other. 





Figure 3. plate LVII b, from St Lawrence island, is a bone spur such 
as Is used on the ends of walrus spears on that island. 

Figure 2, plate LVII 6, from St Lawrence island, is another spur for 
a walrus spear shaft. 

Figure '.>. plate lvii/;, from the lower Yukon, and figure 10 of the 
same plate, from Razbinsky, represent triangular slate tips for use on 
detachable points of walrus and seal spears. 

Figure (J, plate LVII a, from Kigiktauik, is a handsome flint lance- 
point of bluish stone, very regular in form. 

Figure i>, plate LVII a, from Norton bay, is a triangular slate lance- 
point with the border beveled down on both sides to form the edge. 

Figure 4, plate LVlia, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a large, round- 
pointed, flint lancehead. 

Figure 1, plate LVlia, is an old flint lancehead obtained from an 
ancient village site at St Michael. 

Figure 10. plate LVII a, from Kushunuk, is a curiously formed slate 

Figure 11, plate lvii^, from Cape Darby, is a leaf-shape slate 

Figure 2, plate lvii <i, from King island, is a handsomely made Hint 
point, subtriangular in outline. 

figures, plate LVlia, from Xubviukhchugaluk, is a diamond-shape, 
flint lancepoint. 

figure 5, plate jlvii^, from Unalaklit, is made of quartz crystal. 

Figure 7, plate lvii a, from Big lake, is a handsomely made, oval lance- 
point of bluish flint. 

Figure 13, plate LVII a, from Point Hope, and figure L2 of the same 
plate, from Kotzebue sound, aie well-chipped Hint points. 

figure 3, plate lvii a, from Kotzebue sound, is a handsomely made 
flint point of dull greenish color. 

Figure 15, plate lvii a, from St Lawrence island, is a lancehead of 
bone, tipped with a thin, oval iron point which is riveted in place by 
an iron pin; it lias a dee}) slot at the upper end in which the wooden 
shall is tit ted, and has a hole just below the slot through which passes 
the rawhide cord which binds it to the shaft. 

Figure 12 (2), from Kotzebue sound, is one of the points used on the 
three point bird spears. Figure 42 (8), obtained on St Lawrence island 
by Captain 0. L. Hooper, is a rudely made prong for a bird spear- 
point. Figure 12 (7), from Cape Nome, is a bone point such as LS used 

on the shafts of bird spears. Figure 12 (3), from Cape Nome, and 
figure i- i . fn>m Cape Prince of Wales, represent points for bird 
spears. Figure 1- o), from st Lawrence island, is ;i prong or spur for 
attachment to the side of the shaft of a bird spear. Figure l- (5), 
from St Lawrence island, shows the bone points for a small, three 
point bird and fish spear. 
I n places where there is considerable whale and walrus limiting, each 



[l-M 11. ANN 18 

banter has several lancepoints, which are kepi wrapped in some kind 
of skin to protect them from injury. 

are 1 i. plate Lvna, from Gape Darby, illustrates a wrapper of 
this kind for lancepoints, made from the skin of a swan's neck, with 
the feathers left on, and having a rawhide cord attached to one end as 
a fastening. The lanceheads are so wrapped that each has a fold of 
the skin between it and the next. 

On the shafts of the large hand spears various kinds of finger-rests 
are us(.h\. Sometimes a small pin of ivory, deerhorn, or bone is driven 
into the shaft and left projecting from half an inch to an inch, sloping 
slightly backward to afford a firm rest for the finger. 

From Point Hope three tinger-rests of deerhorn were obtained. Fig- 
ures 25 and 26, plate lyii/>, illustrate these specimens, each of which 
has the head of a deer carved on the outer end. Figure 24 of the same 

Pig. t'2 Spearpointa for birds and lisli (,'.). 

plate shows the other example, which is carved to represent the head 
of an unknown animal, the eyes being formed by inlaid blue beads* 
The base of each of these finger-rests is in the form of a long, thin 
strip for lashing along the shaft of the spear. 

Figure 28, plate LVII&, from Sledge island, is a handsomely carved 
finger-rest, with the head of a white bear on the outer end and the base 
made concave to lit the spear shaft. There is a hole through the base 
to receive the cord which fastens it in place. 

Figure 29, plate lvii&, from the same locality as the specimen last 
described, represents the head of a seal. 

I mmr 27, plate lvii&, from St Michael, represents the head and 

Shoulders of a seal. The base has three holes to receive the cord. 

an- 22, plate LViifr, from (Jnalaklit, has a triangular hole in the 
i i.i se foi t In- cord. 


Figure 21, plate LVII&, from Sledge island, is carved to represent the 
bead of a seal. 

Figure •» (( , plate LVII&, from Konigunngumut, is a round piece of 
ivory, with the interior excavated and crossed by a triangular hole for 
the passage of a cord. 

Figure 32, plate lyii/;, from the lower Yukon, and figure 31 of the 
same plate, from Xunivak island, are roughly triangular linger rests 
of a very common style. They have three holes along the base for the 

Figure 23, plate lvii/>, from Sledge island, is a small, curved object, 
with a seal head on the top and pierced with five small holes along 
the base for the attachment of cords by which it is lashed to the shaft 
of the spear. This device serves to hold a cord at a point where it is 
desired to pass it along the shaft in a different direction without form- 
ing a knot. Ordinarily small pegs are inserted in the shafts of these 
spears for this purpose, but in some instances objects of this kind are 

In addition to the use of spears for killing seals, walrus, and 
white whales, the Eskimo have several forms of spears for capturing 
birds, which vary considerably in length and in other details. The 
commonest form consists of a round wooden shaft, varying from ."> feet 
( .) inches to 1 feel 3 inches in length, with three long, rounded, tapering 
points, barbed along the inner side with a series of serrations curved 
slightly outward and set in the form of a triangle in grooves around 
the lower end of the shaft. A strong sinew lashing, about one-third of 
the distance from their lower end. secures them to a small central knot 
on the end of the shaft, thence to their lower ends they are wrapped 
about with a braided sinew cord, which afterward passes spirally 
about the handle to the butt, where it is fastened. Plate lvi 1 1, after a 
photograph, illustrates the method of casting bird spears at St Michael. 

Figure 5, plate lix, from Anogogmnt, is a typical example of these 
spears. The shaft is not feathered. 

figure () of the same plate, from Cape Nome, has a shorter shaft, 
near the butt of which are inserted three feathers from the tail of ;i 
cormorant. Figure 2, from Norton sound, is a bird spear with three 
rudely made points of deerhorn, the serrations on which are made to 

turn to the sides instead of toward the center as is the nsmil custom. 

Figure 3, from St Michael, has three deerhorn points, with serrations 
on their outer >ides. Figure I, from Nunivak island, has three bone 
points, triangular in cross section, with serrations in pairs facing 


from Niiiuvak island and the adjacent mainland some spears were 

obtained similar to the preceding, except that they were aot feathered 
and have four points. Figure L, plate Lix, from Nulukhtulogumut, is 
a typical specimen ot these four-point bird -pens, it has serrations 

on the inner faces ot I he points. 


The most curious bird spears arc those with a long point of bone, 
ivory, or deerhoru, serrated on one or both sides, inserted in the end 
of the wooden shaft. Set in the shaft, at about one-third of the dis- 
tance from the butt, are three points of bone, ivory, or deerhoru, which 

are lashed in position with their sharp points extending obliquely out- 
ward, forming a triangle. These spears are from 4 to G feet in length 
and frequently have handsomely made points. 

Figure 8, plate lix, from Nunivak island, is one of these spears with 
a bone point triangular in cross section and 22 inches in length. It is 
grooved along all the angles, which have serrations aloug them in 
pairs, at intervals of an inch or more, with a series of coarsely made 
serrations near the butt. The points on the shaft are triangular in 
cross section and are barbed along their inner edges. This specimen 
is without feathering at the base of the shaft. 

Figure 9, plate lix, represents a spear obtained by -Mr L. M. Turner 
at St Michael. It has three cormorant feathers on the shaft and 
three barbs, on two of which the serrations face outward and on the 
other they are inward. The point is of ivory, hexagonal in cross 
section, and barbed on two sides. 

Figure 7, plate lix, from St Michael, has an ivory point, roughly 
oval in cross section, with two sets of barbs on the edges; three 
barbs on the shaft are of deerhoru serrated along their inner edges. 

Figure 11, plate lix, from Eazbinsky, is a large and heavily made 
bird spear, with a strong point of deerhoru and three heavy points 
on the shaft. 

Figure 10, plate lix, from St Michael, is another spear of this 
description, having the point set in a slit at the upper end of the 
wooden shaft and secured by a rawhide lashing. Three bone points 
are lashed to the shaft near the butt. 

Bird spears are used for capturing waterfowl, particularly during 
the late summer and fall, when the geese and ducks have molted their 
wing-feathers and are unable to fly; also for catching the young of 
various water birds. The object of the three prongs on the shaft is 
to catch the bird by the neck or the wing when the point may have 
missed it. In using the spear but little attempt is made to strike the 
bird with the point, but it is thrown in such a manner that it will 
diverge slightly to one side as it approaches the quarry, so that the 
shaft will slide along the back or the neck and one or more of the 
points will catch the neck or the wing. 


The Eskimo are very expert in casting spears with the throwing stick. 
The small, light spears used in hunting seals are cast from 30 to 50 
yards with considerable accuracy and force. 1 have seen them practice 
by the hour throwing their spears at young waterfowl, and their accu- 
racy is remarkable. The birds sometimes would see the spear coin- 
ing and dive just before it readied them, but almost invariably the 






weapon struck in the middle of the circle on the water where the bird 
bad gone down. Bird spears arc generally cast overhand, so as to 
strike from above, but if the birds are shy and dive quickly, the spears 
arc cast with an underhand throw so that they skim along the surface 
of tin- water. I have seen a hunter throwing a spear at waterfowl on 
the surface of a stream when small waves were running; the spear 
would tip the erests of the waves, sending up little jets of spray, and 
yet continue its course for 20 or 25 yards. This method is very confus- 
ing to the birds, as they are frequently struck by the spear before they 
seem to be aware of its approach. When throwing spears into flocks 
of partly fledged ducks or geese that are bunched together, two or 
even three are sometimes impaled at once upon tin 4 triple points. 

Hunters in kaiaks are able to follow a seal or a diving waterfowl in 
ciil in weather by the lines of bubbles which rise from the swimming 
animal and mark its course beneath the surface. ( )n one occasion I 
amused myself for nearly half a day with two Eskimo companions in 
kaiaks by pursuing half-fledged eider ducks in the sea off the end of 
Stuart island. After a little instruction from my companions I was 
surprised to see how readily the birds could be followed, for when they 
came to the surface they were always within easy range of a cast of 
the spear. 

In using the throwing stick for casting the spear in a curve through 
the air by an overhand motion, the throwing stick is held pointing 
backward: the end of the spear shaft is laid in the groove on its upper 
sin lace, resting against the ivory pin or other crosspiece at the outer 
end: the shaft of the spear crosses the lingers and is held in position 
by grasping with the thumb and forefinger around the throwing stick. 
The under side of the spear rests upon the extended end of the third 
linger, which lies along a groove in the throwing stick. This gives the 
(»utn I'wd of the spear an upward cant, so that when it is cast it takes 
a slightly upward course. If the cast is to be made directly forward 
with a vertical motion of the hand, the spear is held with the groove 
upward; but in throwing the spear along the surface of the water the 
throwing stick is so held that the groove faces outwardly. In using 
throwing sticks that have pins set along the side for finger-res! s. the 
spear is held in position by the thumb and second linger instead of 
with the thumb and first finger, as is usual wit h other t hrowing sticks. 
In the ease of the three -peg throwing sticks the spear rests upon the 
tiirned-in ends of the first and third fingers; while the thumb and 

second finger hold it in position from above. 
The throwing sticks used by the r unlit Eskimo are made of a length 

proportioned to the Size of the person who is to use them: this is 

determined by the measurement of the forearm from the point of the 

right elbow to the tip of tin outstretched forefinger. Throwing sticks 
QSed with the Bpearfl for hunting white whales are made longer by the 
Width ot the forefinger than those U8ed for seal ami bird spears. 

The ordinary lengtb of l.he seal spears used with throwing sticks by 




the [Inalit is calculated as three times the distance from the point of 
the maker's elbow to the tip of the outstretched forefinger, with the 
added width of the left thumb for each of the first two cubits and the 
width of the left hand added to the last. Seal hunters are not so care- 
ful about the precise length of their throwing sticks as the white whale 
hunters, who are extremely exact in their measurements. 

Figure 43 (6) represents a throwing stick, from Sledge island, with the 
tapering point deeply grooved and provided with an ivory pin against 
which the slightly excavated tip of the spear is intended to rest. The 
handle is rounded near the end and notched on the sides to receive the 
thumb and the little finger. Small, rudely made depressions in the 
upper surface serve for the ends of the second and third fingers, and a 

Fig. 43— Throwing sticks {$>. 

hole running obliquely through is intended for the insertion of the 

Figure !•'> (1) shows a throwing stick, from Sabotnisky, with a peg of 
ivory in the groove on its upper surface to receive the butt of the spear. 
The handle has a hole on the underside to receive the forefinger, a 
wooden pin on the inside as a rest for the second linger, with a deep 
notch opposite for the thumb, and the upper surface of the slightly 
expanded butt has a flat depression to receive the ends of the last two 

figure 43 f 7 ), also from Sabotnisky, is similar in form to the last, with 
a wooden peg at the end uf t he groove to receive t he but t of the spear. 
A not her wooden pin on the inside of the handle serves as a rest for the 
forefinger, w bile an excavation on the upper surface for the tips of t lie 
last three Angers is oval in form, with incisions representing a crane 

witli long bill and legs, which is a totemic sign. 



Figure !■"» I . likewise from Sabotnisky, has two pins on the handle, 
against which rest the second and little fingers. The usual slot for the 
thumb and an aperture for the admission of the first finger arc pro- 

Figure 43 (5), from St Michael, has two pins, one of wood and the other 
of deerhorn, on the side of the handle as rests for the tirst and last 
fingers. Three hollows on the upper surface serve for the tips of the 
last three fingers. An upright wooden pin at the end of the groove in 
the handle is intended to retain the butt of the spear. 

Figure 43 (3), from Norton sound, has a hole on the underside for the 
forefinger, a shallow depression on the upper surface for receiving the 
tips of the fingers, and two bone pins on the side, against which the 
third and last fingers may rest. 

Figure 43 (9), from St Michael, has two wooden pins on the side and 
a depression on the upper surface as rests for the fingers, and a hole 
through the lower part for the forefinger, in front of which is cut the 
raven totem sign. 

Figure 13 (2), from Cape Vancouver, is a long, slender stick, with a 
narrow groove on one side of the handle for the thumb, two pins on the 
opposite side as rests for the first and second fingers, and a deep 
depression on the top for the ends of the last two lingers. 

Figure 43 (8), from Nunivak island, has two pins on one side of the 
handle as rests for the first and second fingers, a groove for the thumb, 
and a crossbar of ivory at the end of the groove in the upper surface, 
with a small spur at its side to retain the butt of the spear. 

Figure 43 (11), from Ivushunuk, has three pegs along one side of the 
handle, and a groove on the upper surface as a rest for the fingers, 
while a rounded slot on the opposite side is intended for the thumb. 

Figure 43 (10), from Nunivak island, was obtained by Doctor Dall. 
It has three pegs on one side of the handle and three depressions on 
the upper surface as finger-rests and a deep slot to receive the thumb. 

Among the throwing sticks obtained by Doctor Dall on Nunivak 
island is one having two bone pegs on one side and made to use in the 
left hand. This is the only example of the kind in the collection. 


Hows ami arrows were still in common use for shooting birds ami 
fish in some districts of north western A In ska during my residence i here. 
The Eskimo hunter's rule for making his bow was thai it should be the 
length of his ontst retched arms, measuring from the finger tips. The 
length of the ordinary hunting or war arrow was the distance from the 

tip of the extended left thumb to t lie i liner end of t he light collar bone, 

but if the man happened t<» be short armed he usually measured from 
the tip of the left forefinger instead of from the thumb. 

Among the Eskimo the making of sinew backed bows attained a 
high degree of excellence, particularly in the district between iower 

Yukon and l\ii>kokwirn rivers, where D0W8 are still wsid more than 


elsewhere in Alaska. These bows arc of the kind generally in use, but 
some are made without backing. At St Michael, and thence to the 
norl h ward, bows without sinew backing were common, but the majority 
of all bows in this region have a backing of some kind. 

A large number of bows were collected which vary considerably in 
form and style of backing. 

Figure I, plate lx, illustrates a bow from Askinuk, narrowed and 
thickened in the middle, where it is grasped by the hand; thence it 
broadens in each direction for a short distance and then narrows 
toward the tips, where it is notched for the reception of the string. 

Figure 4, plate lx, from Nunivak island, is a bow with a heavy 
sinew cable along the back, with three sets of cross-lashings to hold it 
in position; the string is of twisted sinew. 

Figure 2, plate lx, from the lower Yukon, is backed, with a single 
heavy cable of sinew, with two cross-lashings near the ends and one in 
the middle. 

Figure G, plate lx, is a bow from Askinuk, made with a single cable 
as backing, which is held in position by line cross lashings; to force up 
and tighten this backing two small wooden blocks, each notched on its 
upper side, are inserted on one side of the middle. 

Figure 5, plate lx, is a broad, heavy bow from Tununuk, with a sin- 
gle cable along the back and a continuous lashing to hold it in position 
along the inner two-thirds of its length. The string is of sinew, with a 
wrapping of spruce root on the middle to afford a good hold for the 

Figure 7, plate lx, from Nunivak island, has a single cable along the 
back, which is held in position by a continuous cross-lashing along 
the middle third and one near each end; inserted under the cable in 
the center of the bow is a long strip of ivory, flattened below and 
grooved above, to receive the cable, which is intended as a streugth- 
ener and to give elasticity. 

Figure 3, plate lx, from Unalaklit, has two flattened cables of sinew 
along the back, with a thin layer of skin beneath them. They are held 
in position by a continuous cross lashing of sinew, which extends along 
the entire length from within about six inches of the ends. 

Figure 8, plate lx, from Pastolik, has a single light cable along the 
buck, with a cross-lashing extending about one-third of the length each 
way from the middle. This bow has a double curve about one-fourth 
of the length inward from each end; along the back, in this curve, is 
laid a piece of deerhorn, which is Hat on the lower side Cor resting 
upon the bow and grooved above to receive the cable. 

Figure LO, plate lx, represents a heavy bow obtained by Captain 
Hooper on St Lawrence island. It has a double curve about eight 
inches from each end and is backed with a series of braided sinew 
cord-, the ends of which are wound aronnd the bow and form cross 
lashings for about eight inches from each end. 

Figure 11, plate lx, is a bow from ('ape Vancouver, with a doable 


curve about fifteen inches from each end. It has a single cable of 
sinew as a backing, held in position by numerous cross-lashings, and a 
long strip of ivory along the middle, under the backing, to give addi- 
tional strength. 

Figure 9, plate lx, is a broad, thin bow from Razbinsky, with a raw- 
hide string and a sinew cable as backing, fastened by numerous cross- 
lashings: there is a double curve about a quarter of the distance from 
each end, in which is set a short, triangular wooden pin, having a 
broad base, and notched above to receive the backing. A strip of wood 
is inserted under the backing as a streiigthener. 

Figure 26, plate lxi &, from the lower Yukon, represents a strip of 
bone, flat on one side and grooved on the other. It is intended for use 
as a streiigthener to be inserted under the sinew backing of a bow. 

Figure 2, plate li, is a small bow from St Michael, with a sinew 
backing, fastened by a number of cross lashings at short intervals. 
Attached to the bow by means of long sinew cords are two slender 
bone arrows about nine iuches long, with barbed points. This imple- 
ment is used for killing muskrats. The hunter, having found a hole of 
these animals in the ground, or at the entrance of their house, sits 
quietly down in front of it, with one of these arrows fitted on the string 
ready to shoot. The moment the head of the muskrat is seen at the 
mouth of the hole the arrow is loosed and the barb point entering the 
animal prevents its escape, while the cord that attaches the arrow to 
the bow enables the hunter to drag it out of its burrow. 


Several forms of arrows are used in different parts of the Alaskan 
mainland and on the adjacent islands. Among those collected the most 
important were the arrows used for hunting large game and in war. 
These consist of a straight wooden shaft, sometimes terminating in a 
foreshaft of bone or of ivory, with a stone or metal point set in a slot 
in the end. Others have a long point of bone or ivory with a sharp 
edge, either notched or smooth. 

Figure 5, plate i,\i a, represents an aiiow from ('ape Darby, having 
a straight bone tip, suboval in cross section, with three notches on one 
side, and shaped to a sharp point. The shaft has a notch for the bow* 

String, but it LS not feathered. 

Figure 9, plate lx i a, shows a deer arrow from Big lake, having a long 

bone point with four notches along each side, and a narrow, flattened 

base inserted in the split end of the shaft and firmly lashed to it by a 

sinew cord. At the butt of the arrow arc three feathers with one side 

of the plume removed, the tips being inserted in little slits near the 
end of the shaft, and the butts, which point forward, being held in 
position by a sinew lashing. This is the method commonly adopted on 

the Alaskan mainland for attaching feathers to arrows. 


Figure l. plate lxi a, shows one of two arrows from St Lawrence island, 

l m.iI i of which have long, pointed, triangular heads of ivory, the butts 
of which arc set in slots in the wooden shafts and fastened by sinew 
lashings. The shafts have their lore ends triangular in continuation 
of the shape of the points, but toward the butt they become round, 
and are flattened as they approach the end. One of these shafts is 
broadly flattened as an aid to the feathering in guiding- its flight; the 
other was feathered upon both sides of the flattened butt, but the 
feathering has been lost. 

Figures I and <J, plate LXla, are ivory-pointed arrows from St Law- 
rence island. 

Figure 2, plate LXia, represents an arrow from St Lawrence island, 
baving a long, triangular point of ivory with four notches on one side 
of the point without barbing, except on the hindmost, where the point 
is cut to a wedge shape for insertion in a slot in the wooden shaft" This 
shaft has two feathers from a cormorant tail, fastened in . usual 

Figure 8, plate lxi«, shows an arrow obtained on Nunivak is 1 ud by 
Doctor Ball. It has a long bone point with three notches on -*'i^ 

and a groove running along their bases, thus marking the a A 
belonging to a man of the wolf totem. The point is inserted in a i 
in the shaft, which is wound w r itk sinew 7 lashing; it has three feath 
near the butt, held in position by a sinew cord. 

figure 3, plate lxi^, shows an arrow from St Lawrence island, y : 
a long, flattened bone point with a strong barb on one surface and 
grooved along the other. There are two tail-feathers of a coi I rant 
on the tlattened sides of the shaft near the butt. 

figure 7, plate Lxn/, shows an arrow obtained at St Michael by Mr 
L. M. Turner. The point is of bone, triangular in cross-section, but 
becoming round near the butt, where it is inserted in the shaft and held 
in place by a sinew lashing. The butt of the shaft is not feathered. 

Figure LO, plate lxi^, represents an arrow obtained by Doctor !> >n 
from Nunivak island; it has a foreshaft of bone, is suboval 
section, with a single strong notch and barb on one side and..t _- n. 
triangular tip of iron inserted in a notch at the to}). It has ' .-e 
halves of feathers at equal intervals around the butt, fastened the 
usual manner. 

figure 11, plate LXia, from St Lawrence island, has a bo;.o fore 
shafl in which a triangular point is inserted, and two cormorant 
feathers near the butt of the shaft. 

Figure L2, plate LXia, from St Lawrence island, has a bone fore- 
shaft set on tin- shaft in an unusual manner. The foreshaft has a 
wedge-shape slot in which the wooden shaft is inserted, and an iron 
point i> fixed in a slot in the other end of the foreshaft. Both point 

aiul foreshaft are held in position by wooden rivets, and a sinew lash- 
in.- i- wound around the junction of the foreshaft and shaft to bind 
t Ihiu rem ely in ()la< • -. 






.(-ARROWS FOR LARGE GAME AND FOR WAR (Tnree-twentiethsj 







Among the arrowpoints without shafts, obtained on St Lawrence 
island, are several of peculiar form. Among these the specimens 
shown in figures L2, 11, and ir>. plate LXift, differ most from those 
already described. They are all made from bone. 

Figure 11, plate LXifr, from Kowak river, is a double-notch arrow- 
point of deerhorn, and figure 10 of the same plate is a single-notch 
ivory point from Nubviukhchugaluk. 

Figure 8, plate LXifr, from the lower Yukon, is a bone foreshafl with 
a single notch on one side and with a small slate point. 

Figure 0, plate LXifr, from Point Hope, is a bone foreshaft with a 
single dee]) notch and a well-made tip of chipped flint. 

Figure <>, plate lxi/a from Ra/binsky, is a triangular slate point. 

Figure 7, plate lxi/>, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a triangular 
point of hard, green stone. 

Figure 22, plate LXifr, is a beautifully chipped Hint arrowhead from 
Point Hope. 

Figure 21, plate LXI&, is a flint point from Unalaklit. 

Figures 20, 23. plate LXI&, are Hint points from Ilotham inlet. 

Figure 24, plate lxi/>, from Shaktolik; figure 25 of the same plate, 
from Nubviukhchugaluk, and figure 5 of the plate, from St Michael, 
illustrate well made Hint points. 

Figure 13, plate LXifr, is an iron point, from St Lawrence island, 
resembling some of the bone points in form. 


Arrows with blunt heads of various patterns are used for killing 

Figure 2, plate lxic, is a featherless arrow from St Lawrence island, 
with a rounded, conical head of ivory that has ;i hole in the base for 
the insertion of the shaft. 

Figure 3, plate lxic, is an arrow from ('ape Darby, with a bone head 
that terminates in a knob-shape enlargement with a series of notches 
around the edge, forming a crenelated pattern. 

Figure l. plate lxic, is an arrow from Pastolik, with a long bone 

he. id. which is excavated and crossed by two slots which form four 

points ranged in a circle around the edge. The butt has two feathers. 

Figure l, plate lxic, is an arrow from Cape Vancouver, with ;i round 
bead of ivory terminating in a conical point, dust back of the bead 
the shaft is crossed by two bone pins which are passed through it at 
light angles, with the points projecting. The butt has three feathers 
which are bound on with a strip of whalebone. 

Figure •"». plate lxic, is a boy's bird arrow from Kigiktauik, with a 
knob like head of bone winch has four points around its surface. The 
tapering end <>f tin- shaft i- inserted in .i hole ;it the i>;i-«' of the head. 
( >n t he but t are I wo feal hei s. 

are 6, plate I Kic, su< w an arrow, from Kigiktauik, with a double- 
pointed bone bead on which the raven totem %ign is engraved. 




Figure 7, plate lxic, illustrates an arrow from the lower Yukon, with 
a knoblike bone bead notched around its edge and terminating in a 
small point in the center. At the base of the shaft are three feathers 
of the gerfalcon, fastened by sinew wrappings. 


In addition to the arrows used for killing birds and mammals, the 
Eskimo have others for shooting fish, which vary considerably in 

the shape of the heads. 

Figure 44 (3) represents one of 
these fish arrows from Kazbinsky. 
It has a wooden shaft, with three 
feather vanes at the butt and 
a single barbed point of bone in- 
serted in the 'split end of the 
shaft and held in position by 
sinew lashing. 

Figure 44 (4, 5) are fish arrows 
from Xunivak island, each having 
a single, long point with a series of 
barbs along the inside and a short 
supplementary barb on the oppo- 
site side of the shaft. The base is 
set in a slot in the shaft and held 
in place by sinew lashings. At 
the butt are two feathers. 

Figure 44 (6) shows a fish arrow, 
from the lower Yukon, with two 
barbs of unequal length, notched 
along their outer edges, set into the 
head of the shaft with their backs 
nearly touching, and held in posi- 
tion by a strong lashing. At the 
butt of the shaft are three feath- 
ers, the ends of which are inserted 
and fastened by sinew lashings. 

Figure 14 (7) shows a fish arrow, 
from Xunivak island, somewhat 
similar to the preceding specimen, having two points of bone, barbed 
along their outer surfaces and held in position by sinew lashings. The 
bul I lias three feather vanes. 

Figure II (8) illustrates another double-pointed ash arrow, from 

ka/binskv, with barbs along the inner laces of the points. 

Figure 1 1 (9) shows a fish arrow, from Norton sound, which has three 
bone points with a series of barbs along f he inner face of each ; the long, 
pointed lower ends are inserted in deep grooves in the sides of tin 1 

FlO. II— Fish arrows (,'„). 


shaft, where they are fastened by sinew lashings. At the base are 
three feathers. 

Figure 1 I (10) represents a handsomely made triple point fish arrow 
from Cape Vancouver, with the points serrated as in the preceding 
specimen and held in position by an ivory ferule slipped over them. 
At the base of the shaft are three tail-feathers of a cormorant. They 
are notched along their inner vanes and bound in place by a sinew cord 
at their tips and a strip of whalebone about the lower ends. 

Figure 44 (2) shows a fish arrow from Gape Vancouver; it has a bone 
head, provided with a detachable barbed point fastened to the shaft by 
a cord. 

Figure 44 (1) shows a fish arrow from the Yukon mouth, having a 
detachable point, with a long sinew cord, which is divided on its inner 
half and attached at two widely separated points to the shaft. When a 
fish is struck and the point freed, the shaft tloats and forms a drag to 
impede its escape. 


Figure 2, plate lxi/>, is a bone arrowhead from Sabotnisky, the tip 
of which is notched to form four points. The base forms a wedge- 
Bbape point tor insertion in the shaft. 

Figure 1 7. plate lxi/>, from Ivigiktauik, is a bone point beveled down 
to t<»r in live faces. 

Figure 1, plate lxt/>, from Nunivak island, is a conical point of wood 
haying two short, iron crossbars inserted at right angles through the 
head. The inner end is cut dow T n to a wedge-shape point for insertion 
in the shaft. 

! lines 3 and L8, plate lxi/>, show conical points of ivory from St 
Lawrence island. Their bases are excavated, with a round hole for 

eiving tin- points of the shafts. 

Figure 16, plate LXI&, from Nunivak island, is of ivory, with the base 
excavated to receive the shaft. The conical point is surrounded by 
rounded auxiliary points, formed by incisions along the sides, making 
a crenelated pattern. 


Figure 8, plate lxic, represents a fish-skin quiver from the lower 

Yukon. It has ;i COrd ill t ached ;it t lie upper edge and at anot her point 

about midway on one Bide. 

Figure 27, plate iai/<. >h<»w^ a ion- ivory rod which was obtained at 

st Michael by Mr Turner; it is intended for insertion along the side of 

Qiver to stiffen it It is creseentio in cross section and large at one 

end, which terminates in the figure of a wolfs head. The hack of the 

rod has three boles for tin- passage of ;i lashing. 

WRIS1 G i \ BDS 

iic i. plate t.\ t //. shows a bone wrist- guard from st Michael, made 

U upon the lett wrfsl 1 1 1 | ue\ en t the bowstring from Striking it. 
h i III 11 


It is bound on by a strip of rawhide, which is passed through two holes 
on one side and one upon the other. 

Figure l'.>. plate LXlft, illustrates a bone wrist-guard from Kowak 
river, with a single hole on one side tor the attachment of a cord. Wrist- 
guards are all made ereseentie in cross section, in order to tit the curve 
of t he wrist. 


The Kskimo store and carry the thin, tiat points for arrows, spears, 
and lances in small wooden boxes, in the manufacture of which they 
display considerable ingenuity. 

A box of this kind (number 36248), from Kushunuk, is flattened and 
square in outline and made from a single piece of wood; the excavated 
interior is shallow T ; it is grooved just below the upper edge to receive 
the sliding cover, which has a notch on the top near one end for a 
thumb-rest in drawing it out. On two corners of the box a rawhide 
loop is fastened for hanging it to the belt or for attaching it to any other 

Figure 10, plate lxii, is a long, flattened box from Gape Nome. It 
is less than an inch in height, is 7J inches long, and has a sliding 
cover. The sides and top are ornamented with a variety of incised 
cross-line patterns. 

Figure 5, plate lxii, is a long, thin box from Nunivak island, 
slightly convex above and below, pointed oval at one end and truncated 
at the other. It has a long, narrow cover, fitting like a stopper and 
resting at each end on a sunken ledge, and a thumb-piece for raising it 
projects at the rear. On the upper side of the front end of the box are 
incised the outlines of the mouth, nostrils, and eyes of some animal. 

Figure 1, plate lxii, from Pikmiktalik, is a rudely oval box, grooved 
around the sides and along the bottom, but otherwise is not ornamented. 

Figure 4, plate lxii, represents a box, from Gape Nome, fashioned in 
the form of a fish known as the losh. The eyes are formed by small 
ivory pegs with the centers excavated for the pupils; the gill openings 
are marked by incised ereseentie lines; the mouth is incised, and the 
tail is represented as doubled and lying forward midway along the 
body. It has a long, oval, stopper-like cover resting on a sunken ledge 
at each end. 

Figure (>, plate lxii, shows a box, from Askinuk, in the shape of a 
seal. The eyes and the mouth are incised and the front flippers are 
in relief; the cover is a long-pointed oval in outline and lits into the 
side, thus differing from the ordinary method of fitting it either in the 
upper or t he under surface. 

Figure 3, plate lxii, illustrates a box, from Norton sound, represent- 
ing a seal in flattened outline. The head is well made, the eyes and 
nostrils being formed by inlaid pieces of ivory. The cover represents 
another seal, the projecting head and neck forming the thumb piece 
for raising it. The eyes and the nostrils are marked by ivory pegs. 







A box (number 64220) from the Diomede islands represents a rude, 
heavily-made figure of a right whale cut from a piece of wood; the 
mouth and blowholes are incised; the lower surface of the body is 
excavated, forming a somewhat rounded, conical orifice on which fits a 
stopper-like cover In the shape of a seal; this is held in place by means 
of a rawhide cord passing through a hole in the under surface of the 
whale, thence through two holes in the shoulders of the seal, and is 
fasteued on the under surface. Toward the rear of the seal's back a 
loop of cord is attached, the end of which passes through a hole in 
the tail of the whale and through which the cord is passed for fasten- 
ing. This box is a kind of fetich in which are kept the small spear- 
and lance points used in killing whales. 

A box (number 63268) exactly like the preceding was obtained on 
St Lawrence island. 

figure 2, plate lxli, shows a flattened oval box, from Cape Nome, 
representing a seal with a smaller one on its back; the latter forms a 
long, pointed, oval cover; the eyes of the larger seal are indicated by 
blue beads. The top of the box is crossed by a series of parallel 
lines extending from the middle diagonally backward toward the 


Although primitive forms of weapons are still largely used, guns are 
common everywhere among the Eskimo. The guns obtained by them 
(luring the early period of their contact with the Russians were 
extremely clumsy, and the Russians brought with them the forked 
supports for these weapons which they were accustomed to use in 
Siberia. In some of the more retired parts of the country between the 
lower Yukon and the Kuskokwim these supports still exist, as the poor 
quality of the guns and the scarcity of ammunition render its aid nec- 
< — ary in hunting to secure ;i fair degree of accuracy and success. 

uie.'ll. plate iaiii. illustrates one of these forked supports, from 
Chalitmut, having two legs tipped with ivory points and a crossbar of 
ivory to hold them in position. Along each of the three outer faces of 
these legs is a groove in which small, round, ivory pegs are set at inter- 
vals; at the upper end the support has a rounded head in which is a 
deep 8lot; through the sides is a hole in which (its an ivory pin, fas- 
tened by a rawhide cord. A deerhorn disk is fitted into the slot and 
i- held in place by a pin: it has a long, flattened projection on one side 

which is grooved to receive the gun barrel and has three holes for the 
lashings by which it was secured : as this disk moved freely on t lie pin 
the support folded down parallel to the gunstock when being carried, 

and could be readily Bel in position When needed. 

Figure 24, plate iaiii, from ECigiktauik ; figure l'o of the same plate, 
from Chalitmut; ami figure 26, from Kushunuk, illustrate examples of 
the pieces of deerhorn intended for securing the lower side of the gun 
barrel to connect the forked rest with the gun. 


Figure 8, plate i.mii. represents a pair of bullet molds, from Chalit- 
inut, made from two small blocks of slate neatly hollowed out and set 
in wooden blocks, united by pins and corresponding holes so that the 
faces of the molds are brought squarely together; there is a conical 
hole at the top by means of which lead can be poured into the mold. 

Figure 1<>. plate LXIII, represents a bullet starter, from Cape Van- 
couver, for use in muzzle-loading guns; it is made of wood and has a 
bone handle. Figure 15, plate LXIII, shows another bullet starter 
made entirely of bone, which was obtained at Anogogmut. 

Nearly all the guns in use at present among the Eskimo are muzzle- 
loaders, and the ingenuity of the natives is displayed in the many 
forms of cap boxes, powder chargers, and flasks made by them. 

.V common style of cap box is made of wood, flattened and rectangu- 
lar in shape, with a sliding cover. Some of these are plain, others 
have their surfaces cut into a variety of patterns. /Figure 28, plate 
lxiii, from Fastolik; figure 30 of the same plate, from Cape Nome; 
and figure 29, from Sledge island, are examples of this style of box. 

Other small wooden cap boxes are rounded in cross section, broadest 
at the base, and tapering toward the top, where they are truncated 
and fitted with a wooden stopper. Figure 17, plate lxiii, illustrates 
one of these boxes, obtained at Cape Vancouver. It has a series of 
grooves around the sides. 

Figure 27, plate lxiii, from Kushunuk, is a round sided box, shaped 
like a truncated cone, with a separate piece fitted in the bottom. Fig- 
ure G of the same plate, from Kowak river, is another tapering box of 
this kind, with the top turned out to form a lip, under which is fas- 
tened a rawhide cord for attaching the box to the hunting bag. 

Another curious style of box, made to contain a few caps in each 
end, illustrated in figure 1, plate lxiii, was obtained at St Michael. 
It is a long, cylindrical box, largest in the middle and tapering toward 
both ends, which are truncated. It consists of two pieces, excavated, 
neatly fitted together, and fastened by sinew cords. Extending cross- 
wise through the middle is a wooden pin for the attachment of the cord 
which fastens the box to the hunting, bag. A little wooden stopper is 
inserted in each end. 

Other cap boxes are made of ivory, cut into various forms, with a 
stopper in one end and the other closed by a piece of wood which is 
held in position by rivets. Figure 4, plate lxiii, from Cape Nome; 
figure 5 of the same plate, from Norton sound; figure 7, from Nubviuk- 
chugaluk; and figure 2, from Kaviak peninsula, illustrate specimens 
of t hese boxes. 

I'owMler chargers are even more varied in form, and show more inge- 
nuity in design than the cap boxes. 

Figure .'*, plate lxiii, is a small charger, made of bone, with a long, 
round, wooden cap box. attached to it by a sinew cord. It was obtained 
at Norton bay. 





Figure 14, plate lxiii, represents a rounded bone charger from 
Ilothani inlet. It has an ornamental device of circles and dots and 
tbe raven totem etched upon its surface. 

Figure 18, plate lxiii, from Unalaklit, has its lower end carved into 
tin 4 form of a human head. 

Figure 12, plate lxiii, from Cape Vancouver, represents a cormo- 
rant's head. 

Figure 11, plate lxiii, from Cape Vancouver, represents the head of 
a skua-gull. 

Figure 9, plate lxiii, from Sledge island, is a cylindrical ivory 
charger with a knob on the lower end. 

Figure 13, plate lxiii, from St Lawrence island, is rounded with a 
small, spout-like projection on the rim. 

Figure 10, plate lxiii, from Cape Vancouver, represents a falcon's 

Figure 20, plate lxiii, from Sledge island, is a rounded bone charger 
with a wooden stopper; it is intended for carrying a charge of powder 
ready for putting in the gun when needed. 

Figure 10, plate lxiii, represents a powder flask obtained at Kotze- 
bue sound; it is made from a section of deerhorn, excavated and fitted 
with a wooden stopper at each end; one of these is perforated and a 
small plug of wood inserted, by removing which an inlet is formed 
for tbe powder. A charger of deerhorn is attached to the flask by a 
sinew cord. 

Figure 23, plate lxiii, from Cape Vancouver, is a wooden powder 
flash in the form of a sea parrot's head. The small end at the neck is 
bound together with sinew lashings, and a rounded stopper is fitted in 
the hole. 

Figure 22, plate lxiii, from Nulukhtulogumut, shows a small, leather- 
covered flask with an ivory mouthpiece in which a wooden stopper is 
fitted; to tin's is attached an ivory charger in the shape of a cormorant's 
head. With this charger is a small ivory disk, having a conical perfora- 
tion in the center, which is intended to be placed over the nipple of the 
gnu for priming it. 

The form of both of the preceding flasks is an imitation of those 
sold by the tur traders. 

Figure 21, plate lxiii, from Sledge island, is a wooden powder flask 
with the sides carved in ;i twining pattern. 

Figure 32, plate lxiii, from Norton bay, is a wooden flask fitted at 
each end with an ivory cover and having an iron tip at the nozzle. 

The Eskimo of Plover bay on the Siberian shore and on Si Lawrence 
island, as well as those along the shoresof Bering b trail and thence up 
the Alaskan coast to Point Barrow, arc successful hunters of the right 
whale; forthie purpose theold fashioned barbed spear is the weapon 
ordinarily used, but it is being superceded bj firearms wherever the 
people have been aide to obtain them. Ai IMover hay :ho natives had 


a bomb gun which they had obtained (Void some whaler. While on a 

summer cruise on a whaling ship some of the men had learned the use 
of this gun ami they took the earliest opportunity to obtain one; in the 
tall it was planted on the ice mar the entrance to the bay, and as the 
whales swam slowly along the narrow lead that remained open in 
midchannel the bomb lances were tired into them without any lines 
attached. This was always done while the whales were heading up the 
bay, bo that they might swim as far as possible toward the head of the 
bay and die under the ice; a few days later the gases would inflate 
their bodies to such an extent that the carcasses would burst through 
the ice and indicate their position to the people, who would at once cut 
them up, using the blubber for food and keeping the whalebone to be 
traded to the whalers in the spring. The people at Point l>arrow r have 
also used a whaling gun for some time. 

The walrus is found on many parts of the coast, but is rarely seen 
near St Michael; about Xunivak islaud and the coast of the adjacent 
mainland it is caught during fall aud spring. Xear the mouth of the 
Ivuskokwim the hunters endeavor to surprise herds of walrus in the 
shallow bays along the coast. When they succeed, they form a line of 
kaiaks between the animals and the sea, and by shouting and striking 
the sides of the kaiaks with their paddles, so alarm them that they are 
driven ashore, where they are easily killed. In the fall of 1879 thirty 
of these animals were captured by a drive of this kind just south of 
( Jape Vancouver. This method, however, can be employed only where 
the water is very shallow, so that the walrus can not escape by diving 
and passing beneath the kaiaks. 

Although spears and lances are still used in walrus hunting, as fire- 
arms become more plentiful among the natives many of these ani- 
mals are shot with rides, which are used in addition to the old-style 
weapons lor killing the beluga or white whale. This animal is some- 
times stranded at low water and is then easily killed. These whales 
are treated with great respect by the Eskimo, and when one is taken 
certain ceremonies must be observed to avoid offending it. At St 
Michael I saw the hunters haul a recently killed beluga ashore, and 
before it was completely dragged out of the water one of them poured 
some urine in its mouth and then addressed several sentences to its 
shade in propitiation for having killed it. At Point Hope one was 
killed during the visit of the revenue cutter Oorwin to that jdace in 
the summer of 1881, and while it was being drawn ashore the people 
gathered on the beach and sang a song of welcome such as is used in 
the kashim (luring certain dances. 


Hunting bags are made in various forms and are worn by a strap 
over the Shoulders J in them the hunters carry their powder, bullets, 
cap boxes, and other small articles needed in the chase. Bags of this 
kind made from the skins of wolves' heads are highly prized. 





Figure 33, plate LXIII, from St Michael, is such a bag- made from 
the skins of two wolves' heads, bound around the edge with red flan- 
nel and lined with white cotton. A shoulder strap made of white 
cotton and ornamented with stitching of red worsted is attached to it. 

At St .Michael I obtained a long, slender hunting bag (number 384r>S) 
made of alternating strips of white and brown deerskin, with a fringe 
of the same cut in little strips around the lower end. It is bordered 
above by a trimming of skin from a loon's throat, which is succeeded 
by ornamental bands of deerskin and a strip of wolverine fur. 

The people of the seacoast between Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers 
use conical wooden helmets to protect their eyes from the glare of the 
sun when hunting at sea; these are ornamented with carved ivory 
images or are painted with various devices. 

At Kushunuk were seen many of these hats which were painted 
white, on which were various phallic pictures in red; these pictures 
had a certain significance connected with the religious beliefs of the 
people, which I failed to ascertain. The same idea was shown in a 
phallic picture on a pair of paddles obtained at this village, each of the 
two having one-half of the picture upon it, so that it was completed 
by joining them at their edges. 

From the mouth of the Yukon northward, wooden visors are used to 
shade the eyes; these are somewhat similar in shape to the helmets 
but they lack the conical top; the forepieces of the visors are often 
ornamented with ivory carvings and have at the back a plume of 
feathers from the tails of old squaw ducks. 

figure 22, plate lxiv, represents one of these conical helmets from 
Kusliunuk. It has a strip of deerhorn lashed around the base at the 
rear to hold the bent ends in position. On both sides are fastened, by 
sinew cord passed through holes, wing-like pieces of ivory, carved with 
open work pattern and ornamented with groups of concentric circles, 
with a central hole in each. On the middle of the front are two can ed 
walrus heads of ivory, and on each side of these are two ivory strips 
representing heads of gulls. The outer surface of this helmet is 
painted slate color splashed with white. 

A not hei- helmet, from Kaialigamut | figure 20, plate i \i v). is wit hoi it 
ivory ornaments on the front. It is held together at the back bya 
strip of deerhorn pierced with holes, through which pass Lashings of 
coid ; the edges, where they are held together in the rear, are fastened 
together with spruce-root lashings. The outer surface is painted white 
and decorated with red figures; bordering grooves <>n the top and 
bottom are also red. 

flic visorfl worn by the people of Norton sound and the lower Yukon 

are usually plain, but sometimes are made to represent the bead of 
some animal. They consist of a flllel of wood passing around the back 

of the bead, with the front carried out to form ;i long, rounded fore- 
pier. •. 

figure 21, plate i, xtv. illustrates <uie of these nnornamented visors, 


which was obtained at Razbinsky. It has a groove around the edge 
and a deep, broad groove down the front; at the rear the overlapping 
ends are lashed together with willow hark. The specimen from St 
Michael, shown in plate LXIV, L5, is more heavily made. On the middle 
of the trout is a groove. The front is carried out to represent the head 
of a pike, with a mouth formed by a deeply incised groove, in which 
are set numerous small reindeer teeth; two deep holes represent the 
nostrils, and two amber colored beads are inlaid for eyes. One side of 
the visor is black, the other side is not colored. Visors from the shore 
of Norton sound are sometimes ornamented with ivory figures lashed to 
their sides and front, like the helmets from south of the Yukon mouth. 

Figure IS, plate lxiv, illustrates a visor of this kind, which has a 
wing-like piece on each side and the head of a gull in front; the 
median ridge is ornamented with the ivory images of two walrus 
heads. The back of the visor has an oval ring of shavings projecting 
upward and stuck full of feathers from the tails of cormorants and 
old wife ducks. 

Figure 2, plate lxiv, from Chalitmut; figure 19 of the same plate, 
from Xorton bay; and figure 17, from Sledge island, represent visors 
made from pieces of wood, with a rawhide strip or cord attached on 
each side for passing over the back of the head. The first specimen 
mentioned is painted black on both sides and has a series of ivory pegs 
and white beads inlaid in two rows on the upper surface. The visor 
shown in plate lxiv, 19, has a shallow groove, painted red, around the 
upper edge; inside of this is a deep, narrow groove, which, with the 
remainder of the visor, is uncolored. The third specimen (plate lxiv, 
17) has the lower part of the visor, a band around the edge, and a 
long, oval groove down the front, painted black. A shallow groove, 
extending around the borders above and below inside the black line, is 
colored red. 

The ornamentation of helmets with ivory carvings varies but little in 
the several localities. Usually there is a long, flat, wing-shape piece 
on each side and the head of a bird in front; the middle is occupied 
by carvings of walrus heads or figures of other animals. 

The following specimens, shown in figure 45, illustrate some of the 

Number 8 represents one of the wing-shape pieces from Shaktolik, 
with open-work pattern and a series of circles and dots. Number 7 
shows one of the ivory strips obtained at Kushunuk; it is carved to 
represent the head of a cormorant. Another, from Askinuk (number 
6 . represents the head of a gull. A specimen from St Michael (num- 
ber 5) is an ivory walrus head for the front of a helmet. Another, 
from Kushunnk (number 3), represents a land otter, the eyes of which 
are represented by inlaid blue beads, and similar beads are inlaid in 
the centers of circles etched along the back. A thin band of deerhorn 
from the lower Yukon (number 2) is flattened on one side and beveled 




to three faces on the other; it is pierced with holes, in pairs, to receive 
the lashings, with which it is bound on the back of a helmet to hold the 
bent ends of the wood in position. A walrus head, cut from ivory, from 
Kushunuk (Museum number 38719), is for ornamenting the front of a 
bunting helmet. A similar ornament from Anogogmut (number 1) 
represents the flattened image of a seal, with eyes formed by inlaid 
blue beads. Another of these ornaments (number 4), from the lower 
Yukon, is a flattened, conventionalized image of a wolf. Along the 

Fig 15 Tvory ornament!) for hunting helmets (J). 
lack and the sides it is ornamented with etched lines and a scries of 

three pairs of concentric circles, each having a wooden peg inserted in 

a cent i al hole. 


To preserve the eyes from the -laic of the sun on the snow in the 
spriug and thus prevenl snow blindness, goggles are in general use 
among the Eskimo. They vary considerably, according to locality, but 
the specimens illustrated jive the principal variations in form among 
those collected. 

Figure 5, plate lxiv, represents a flattened, funnel shape specimen 
"' '■' ?les, obtained from the lower Yukon. The projecting 

front extends oat both above aud below in a gradual slope to theed 

170 nil-: ESKIMO ABOUT BERING STRAIT mh.ann.i* 

of a single broad slit, the upper border slightly overhaDging the lower. 
They have a rounded notch for fitting over the nose, and are held in 

position by a conl which pusses over the back of the head. A speci- 
men from Point Hope, shown in plate lxiv, 1 1. is somewhat similar to 
the preceding, except that the slit is smaller and the upper front bor- 
der projects farther beyond the lower. 

Another pair from the Lower Yukon (plate LXIV, 4) have two narrow 
slits divided in the middle by a septum. A notch is cut on the inner 
surface for the nose, and the front is carved in slight relief to represent 
a human lace, with the nose between the eye slits. The forehead pro- 
jects at the eyebrows to form a visor-like edge. The inside and top of 
the goggles are painted black and the front red. 

A pair from Norton sound (figure (>, plate lxiv) have two slits, a 
notch for the nose resting- against a strong septum in the middle, and 
a visor-like projection along the top in front. The goggles from Sabot- 
nisky (figure 13, plate lxiv) have a notch for the nose and two flat- 
tened eye slits divided by a rudely made septum. The top is grooved 
to represent hair, and a nose is shown between the slits, giving them 
a mask like appearance. They are painted red in front, but are not 
colored behind. 

Figure 8, plate lxiv, represents spectacle-shape goggles from Cape 
Darby, with two narrow eye slits and a visor-like projection in front. 
There is a deep groove for the nose and the outline is narrowed in the 
middle, so that the eyepieces are suboval in shape. 

Another pair (figure 1, plate lxiv), from Norton bay, are still more 
like spectacles than the preceding, being greatly narrowed in the mid- 
dle between the two slits for the eyes. The front slopes gently to the 
borders of the slits and there is no visor. Another example of neatly 
made goggles (figure !), plate lxiv), also obtained at Norton bay, are 
narrowed in the middle with two narrow slits and a visor in front. 
The upper borders of the eyepieces are deeply notched to permit the 
circulation of air about the eyes. The pair shown in figure 3, plate lxiv, 
are also from Norton bay. They consist of two suboval eyepieces, held 
together by two sinew cords which are strung with beads. Each of 
these eyepieces has a long, narrow eye slit. 

Figure 14, plate lxiv, represents spectacle- shape goggles from 

Kushunuk; tiny are fashioned to extend forward, surrounding the 

large, oval eyeholes in a flattened, tubular form; the insides of the eye- 

holes are painted black, as is the upper portion of the outside, with the 

eption of the borders of the eyeholes which are red. 

A specimen from St Lawrence island, figure L2, plate LXIV, consists 
of a trough shape piece of wood, concave within and convex on the 
outside: it is somewhat crescentic in form, with a notch on the lower 
Side for the nose: the eyeholes are straight within against the wooden 
crossbar or septum which divides them, and their outer edges are oval; 
they are large, and without any arrangement for shading them. 





A pair of goggles (figure 10, plate lxtv) obtained at Port Clarence 
by Doctor T. H. Bean, are made from three pieces of wood; both the 
upper and lower pieces are grooved to admit the insertion of a fragment 
of common window glass in each oval eyehole; they are lashed together 
with whalebone cord passed through holes; a projecting visor over- 
hangs the front; inside a bar of wood is lashed, which is notched on 
each side over the eye to permit circulation of air. 

A clumsily made pair from the Diomede islands (figure 7, plate lxiv) 
consist of two pieces of canvas sewed together; eyeholes are cut in the 
middle of each, in which are inserted pieces of window glass; the can- 
vas is backed by a rudely formed wooden framework, rather quadrate in 
outline. These are the only goggles of this kind that were seen. 

Figure 16, plate lxiv, represents a pair of wooden goggles from Nor- 
ton sound; they are notched for the nose, and project at the sides as 
long, oval ends reaching to the temples; the tubular front has two large, 
oval holes, and a strip of rawhide, rounded in front, is pegged to the 
upper surface to form a visor. 


The stone knives formerly in universal use among the Eskimo have 
been almost entirely displaced by the ordinary butcher knives sold by 
the traders. Some of these old-fashioned flint knives were procured at 
Hotham inlet, and were in actual use when obtained; they are illus- 
trated in plate xlvii, figures 2, 3. They consist of leaf-shape, chipped 
flint blades, set in short wooden handles split at the lower end to receive 
the blade which is held in place by a wrapping of rawhide or sinew 
cord, or (as in figure 3) by a lashing of willow root. 

From the northern end of Norton sound a beautiful knife (plate lxv, 3) 
was obtained. The narrow, leaf-shape blade of nephrite is 8.\ inches in 
length and 2\ inches wide at its broadest part, and is slightly convex 
on one side; the other side is slightly grooved near each edge and has 
a broad, slightly elevated, flat ridge running down the center to near the 
point; it is double-edged and brought to a slightly rounded point. The 
handle is of ivory, oval in cross section, 3 J inches in length: the blade is 
set in a slot, the sides of which overlap about 2 inches, through which 
ivory pegs arc inserted to hold it in place. In the handle are, seven 
holes, through which a rawhide cord is wound and crossed to afford a 
firm grip for the hand. The wooden sheath (plate lxv, 2) follows the 

outline of the knife and extends halfway up the handle; it is in two 

parts, which are fastened together by thin strips of whalebone passed 

through holes in the edges. Across one side of the sheat li, Dear the 

butt, arc two small, parallel grooves which form the private mark of the 

owner. This specimen, from its large size and the beauty and regn 

larityof its finish, is probably unique. It was purchased at Nubviukh- 

Chugaluk from a Kaviak Eskimo Who Said that it had been an heirloom 
in hifl family for many generations; although now of no practical utility 


he prized it very much from its association, and it was only alter two 
years of careful efforl that I succeeded in obtaining it by paying what 
he considered a large price. Other jade knives, somewhat similar to 
this but much smaller and with less perfect blades, were also seen. 

Knives are usually worn by the Eskimo in a sheath strapped to the 
outside of the right thigh, just below the hip, so that the handle may 
readily be grasped; some of the men, however, have the sheath sus- 
pended from the waist belt. 


Drag- bandies, attached to a stout permanent loop of sealskin cord, 
are used for hauling dead seals or other heavy weights over the snow 
or ice. They are made of wood, bone, ivory, or deerhorn, carved in a 
variety of forms, considerable ingenuity being exercised in adapting 
the designs to the shape of the handle and to the purpose for which it 
is to be used. 

Plate lxvi, 16, from Kushunuk, is a cylindrical wooden handle, 
grooved around the middle for receiving the loop. 

Plate LXVI, 4, from St Michael, is an ivory handle, in the form of a 

crossbar, with the head of a white bear carved 
on each end and a square slot crosswise through 
the middle for receiving the cord. 

Plate lxvi, 18, from Cape Darby, represents 
two white whales lashed together on their ven- 
v , ... ,, ,, ,, ~. tral surfaces and pierced through the middle for 

Fig. 46 -Corananaleofivory(J). -^ ° 

receiving the ends of the cords, which project 
through their mouths and form a loop on that end. The other ends of 
the whales terminate in a ring from which are suspended six links 
of ivor\ : to the last link of one of these chains is suspended a small 
carving in the form of a whale's tail. 

Plate lxvi, 14, shows a handle, from Sledge island, in the form of a 
white bear. A cord passes through the lower surface. 

A rounded block, carved in the form of two seals lying face to face, 
with their fore-ilirpers along their muzzles, is illustrated in plate lxvi, 
1. It has two holes pierced in one end which join and issue as a single 
hole at the other end. It was obtained at Unalaklit. 

Plate LXVI, L5, represents a handle, from Sledge island, in the shape 
of a white whale, which is pierced transversely for the cord. 

Figure 1<> shows an ivory cord handle from Sledge island. It is an 
extremely artistic, carving, representing the head of a white bear with 
a -mall seal in its mouth. On the lower surface of the head is a figure, 
in relief, of another seal. 

Plate ia vi, L9, shows another elaborate drag handle from Cape Darby. 

The centra] portion consists of a piece of ivory, pierced by two round 

hole-, and a third one forming a slot through which is passed the cord 

' be loop. Prom one of t bese rings is hung, as a link, the tail of a 

Whale, and from the other two chains, each consist ing of eight links, 













one of which terminates in the head and fore-legs of a white bear and 
the other in the tail and hind-flippers of a seal. 

Plate lxvi. 12, from Sledge island, is a four prong ivory rod, with 
white-bears heads carved upon two of the points and a seal's head on 
another; the fourth point terminates in a ring in which is linked a 
pendant representing the head and shoulders of a seal. 

Plate lxvi, 2, from Cape Nome, is a small ivory handle, pierced with 
a hole at one end. which forks and terminates in two holes on the other 
end. On one side is carved in relief the form of a seal, and on the 
other the form of a white bear. 

Plate lxvi, 17, is a handle, fashioned in the form of a white-bear's 
head, with blue beads inlaid for eyes. The two cords form one loop, 
projecting from the bear's mouth, and on the other side they project 
from separate holes at the rear. 

Plate lxvi, 11, from Sledge island, is an ivory image of a seal, with 
a hole through the back, in which is fitted an ivory pin, terminating 
above in the figure of a seal's head. To the lower end is attached the 
cord forming the loop. 

Plate lxvi, 5, from the Diomede islands, is a handle made of a, bar of 
ivory, an elongated oval in outline, with a convexity near each end on 
the lower side and slightly excavated within. In the middle of this 
excavation is a hole, through which passes the cord forming a loop. 
On the upper side the cords pass through holes in two figurines of 
seals, which rest with their heads down against the outer borders of 
the bar. 

Plate lxvi, 8, from Sledge island, has carved on one end the head of 
a seal and on the other that of a white bear. 

Plate lxvi, 10, from Kotzebue sound, is in the shape of the head of a 
white bear, represented as holding a seal crosswise in its mouth; it is 
pierced lengthwise on the under side for the passage of a cord. 

Plate lxvi, 7, from Kotzebue sound, is an elongated bar, with a 
seal's head on each end. The handle is surrounded by eight series of 
etched parallel lines. 

Plate lxvi, .'i, from Cape Prince of Wales, has four images of seals 
carved in high relief on the small ivory center through which the cord 

Plate LXVI, 13, from Nubviiikhehiigaluk, is a handle in the form of a, 
white-bear's head, represented as holding a Si ick crosswise in its moiit li, 
and just back of this, carved from a separate piece, the head of a seal. 


Pishing forms one of fche main sources of food Supply among tlie 

western Eskimo, and in its pursuit a variety of methods and Imple- 
ments are employed. The fishing season along the const of Norton 

sound Opens about the end ol .March or early in April of cadi \eai : at 



[KTH. ANN. 18 

tin's time the spring tides begiu to show along the shore, where the 
water forces its way up through the cracks in the ice. During the 
oold weather of winter the tomcod and the sculpin remain in deep 
water, but as spring approaches they begin to return to the vicinity 
of the shore, and holes in the ice are made through which they are 
caught l»y means of hook and line. During May, as the weather grows 
wanner, the tomcod become extremely numerous, and at this time the 
old men and women may be seen scattered about on the ice, a few 
hundred yards from the shore, where they fish during many hours of 
the day. Figure 17, from a photograph taken at »St Michael, shows 
a man at one of the fishing holes. 

- -"* — ~ 

Ki<i. 47 — Tomcod fishing throtigh Bea ice :it St Michael, 

For fishing through the ice a hole from six to eight inches in diam- 
eter is made. The ice pick employed for this purpose consists of a 
stout wooden staff, usually provided with a point made from the end 
of an old chisel or a Hat piece of iron; but formerly, and indeed fre- 
quently during my residence in Alaska, picks pointed with reindeer 
horn or ivory were in use. 

I i- me 10, plate LXVII, illustrates one of these picks from Norton 
"in,. I: it consists of a wooden staff, nearly four feet Ion*; - , terminating 
in n deerhorn point, which is lashed firmly to the stall with cords of 

the Lee is generally several feet in thickness, the hole becomes 
filled with small fragmeuts as the work of digging progresses. To 


this season cold north winds generally blow and render it veryuncom- 

fortable to remain tor hours in one position on the ice. To remedy tin's, 
small shelters are arranged, consisting of grass mats, held on a frame- 
work of sticks, to the windward of the hole. In November, soon after 
the he is formed, a fisherman frequently catches 200 pounds of toincod 

in a day. but from 10 to 40 pounds is the average result of a day's 

Figure 24, plate lxviii, represents an outfit for toincod fishing, from 
Cape Nome, consisting of the two rods, a whalebone line, stone sinker, 
and hook as described. The line is guided through the notch in the 
end of the rod, which is cut in at each end so that it forms a shuttle- 
like stick, upon which the line is wound when not in use. In some 
instances the four hooks are arranged around the sinker and held in 
place by means of short, elastic leaders of whalebone or quill. 

Among the fishermen of Xorton sound and along the American shore 
of Bering strait the lines on which these hooks are held usually pass 
through holes in the sinker and are wedged in place. On St Lawrence 
island, sinkers are made with a hole at the bottom for suspending a 
hook, and four other holes for a similar purpose at each of the rouuded 
corners. Figure 5, plate lxviii, represents one of the sinkers from this 
island; the hooks are made of iron and have from three to four points 
on the end of a straight shank, which is lashed to a whalebone leader 
by a sinew cord ; the upper end of the leader is passed through the holes 
in the sinker and knotted. Accompanying this specimen is the stick 
for manipulating the line when landing the fish (figure 32, plate 
lxviii). Figure 31, plate lxviii, illustrates another tomcod fishing 
outfit, from Norton sound, consisting of a shuttle-like rod notched at 
each end and a thin rawhide line with an ivory sinker, which is in 
two parts, excavated in the middle and filled with lead; the two halves 
are held together by a lashing of whalebone; a whalebone loop extends 
from the bottom of the sinker and to it is attached a small hook made 
by lashing a small iron point across the lower end of a whalebone 
shank; just above the sinker a leader of whalebone is attached to a line 
with a similar hook. 

Figure 28, plate lxix, represents a large sinker, from St Lawrence 
island, made from a piece of the jawbone of a whale. On two of the 
sides, a little below the middle, are holes through which pass whale- 
bone leaders about nine inches long, on which are hooks with bone 
shanks having conical knobs on the lower ends; there are three slits 
on one shank and two on the other, in which upstanding points of 
bone are inserted and fastened in position with fine cord made from 

From Cape Nome was obtained an obovate ivory sinker, shown in 
figure I. plate lx i \. It has three holes in the sides, in which are inserted 
three upstanding points of ivory over an inch in length, held in posi- 
tion by ;i wrapping of line whalebone; lower, through one side of the 


eighteenth: annual report pl. lxviii 



sinker, passes a whalebone leader with a small hook at each end; these 
hooks have an ivory shank through which is passed a pointed iron spike 
bent upward at the point. Hanging from the lower end of the sinker 
is another leader of about the same length as the others with a straight 
shanked hook of the ordinary style, with four points. 

The style of tomcod hook used from the Yukon month to the Kus- 
kokwim is'illustrated in figure 3, plate lxix. This specimen, obtained 
at Askinuk, has a long, round shank of deerhorn, with a knob at the 
upper end for attachment of the line, and the lower end is enlarged 
to a doubly conical base, which has three slits at equal intervals, nar- 
rowed on the outside and widening within. Above these, on the upper 
cciie, are three similar slits alternating around the surface with the 
first-named. Into these slits are fitted long, slender, sharp-pointed 
spines of deerhorn, .'U to 4 inches in length, projecting upward and 
slightly outward. This hook is moved slowly up and down in the 
water, and catches the fish by piercing them from below while they 
are gathered about the ivory sinker. 

Figure 21, plate lkviii, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a common 
style of ivory-shanked tomcod hook, with four projecting iron points. 
It varies from the ordinary style in having the shank made in a series 
of curves instead of being straight. 

A peculiar style of tomcod hook and sinker, from Cape Nome, is 
shown in figure 10, plate lxix. The sinker is made from an old, stained 
piece of ivory, fashioned into the shape of a fish. Two blue beads are 
in -cited in rings of ivory near the lower end to represent eyes, and 
another is inlaid on the lower surface. The tail is formed of a piece of 
white ivory attached to a truncated end of the dark material by a lash- 
ing of fine cord; the mouth is represented by a hole, in which is a 
leader, attached to which, below the sinker, are three orange-yellow 
pieces from the bill of the crested auklet, which are strung on a 
line sinew cord with two blue beads, serving to attract the fish. At 
the lower end of the leader is a hook, with the upper part of the shank 
of ivory and the lower of deerhorn. These are fastened together with 
small bone pegs and a lashing of fine cord around the joint. At the 
base were four iron points, one of which has been broken off. 

Figure 26, plate i.wnt, from Gape Nome, is a rod used for fishing 

mi tomcod. with an ivory line guide in the end, figure L'O, plate 

lwiii. from St Lawrence island, are bone shanks for tomcod hooks, 

made with two -lits 0D the side8 at the lower end, in which may lie 

• d upright bone l>;irl.> ; the upper end is broadened and flattened 

b little .Mid pierced tor the attachment of a line. Figure 22 of the 

e plate, from 81 Lawrence island, ia ;i father flat, shuttle-shape rod, 

notched ;it eacfa end and haviug wound upon it ;i long line made from 
Whalebone, With .i EU l of four tomcod hooks at the ends of leaders, 

which are of the ordinary straight shank pattern with tour barbed 
points of copper. Figure 0, plate lxviii, from st Michael, is a deer- 

Lfi i.i ii L2 


horn guide from a tomcod rod. Figure 12, plate lxviii, shows another 
tip for a tomcod rod. from Sledge island. 

Another Bet of hooks and sinker from I lot ham inlet are shown in 
figure 5, plate i.xix. The sinker is of greenish slate, with a rounded 
ivory tip at the upper end, excavated to admit the pointed end of the 
Stone, which is riveted in place. There are two holes in the middle of 
the stone, at right angles to each other, for the passage of the leaders. 
Only a single pair of leaders are in place, the other set having been 
hot. Figures 1 1 and 10, plate lxviii, illustrate forms of tomcod hooks, 
obtained at Sfugunugumut, which are used also for catching smelts. 
When tomcod are abundant along the eoast in autumn and spring, 
smelts also are plentiful, and often are caught on the same hooks; but 
in some localities speeial hooks are made for taking smelts, one of 
which, from Nunivak island, is illustrated in figure 13, plate lxviii. 
This has a straight ivory shank, largest near its lower end, in whieh a 
recurved copper hook is set and held in place by a wooden plug. 

While fishing for tomcod, sculpin of several species are frequently 
caught in shallow water. A number of hooks made especially for taking 
these tish were obtained at Cape Nome. Sculpin hooks from the northern 
shore of Norton sound and from Bering strait are made from pieces of 
stone and ivory, fitted together to form an oval shank (figure 21, plate 
lxix). The surface of the stone is grooved to receive the ivory, which 
forms the lower end, and is fastened by a lashing. The hook, either of 
iron or copper, passes through the shank and the point is upturned in 
front. The shank is ornamented with little tags of sinew cord at the 
lower corners, to which are attached blue beads and the sheaths from 
the bills of auklets. The stone chosen for these hooks varies consid- 
erably, but is usually of some bright color. Sometimes the lower end 
is made also of stone of another color instead of ivory, as in the speci- 
men from (Jape Nome, illustrated in figure 12, plate lxix, which is used 
also as a grayling hook. 

A sculpin hook and sinker of dark-colored stone is represented in 
figure 14, plate LXIX. It was obtained at Cape Nome. The sinker 
is pierced at the upper end for the attachment of the rawhide line; 
to this upper end is fastened a finely braided sinew cord, having an 
orange yellow piece from an auklet's bill at its lower end. The other 
end of the sinker has a white ivory cap iitted over it and held in place 
by a wooden pegj in Hie lower end is a hole in which is a small seal- 
skin band, to which arc attached some pieces of skin from the legs of 
birds, and below this extends a leader, terminating in a llat-shank 
hook. The leader is also ornamented with a blue bead and a piece from 
Hie hill of an anklet. The shank of the hook is composed of three 
pieces, the upper and lower of ivory, and the middle one of stone, 
neatly lit ted in grooves in the ivory and fastened by a lashing; a single- 
point copper barb is inserted through the shank and bent upward 
in front. In the truncated base of the ivory of the shank are two 
holes below the place where the hook is inserted, to which are hung 





two short sinew cords, on each of which is strung a bine bead and an 
orange-colored piece from the bill of an anklet. These various orna- 
ments are intended as lures for the fish. Another of these sculpin 
hooks from Cape Nome is shown in figure 22, plate lxix. It is 
attached by a leader to a small ivory sinker, which is yellow on one 
side and blackened on the other ; on the dark side are inserted two 
white ivory eyes with a dark-colored wooden plug in the center cf each 
to represent the pupil. On the other side is a hole for attaching the 
leader; small bits of red llannel are fastened to this end for lures. The 
other end terminates in a flattened point, in which is a hole for the line. 
Strung on the leader is a blue bead and an orange-yellow piece from 
the bill of an anklet. The shank, which has near the end two holes 
for the line, is made from deerhorn and flattened, becoming larger 
toward the lower end, where an oblong piece of ivory is inserted just 
back of the point of the hook, which is a single, sharp-pointed iron 
barb inserted through the lower end of the shank and bent upward in 
front. At each of the lower corners of the shank is a short sinew 
cord, on which are strung a blue and a white bead and an orange 
sheath from the bill of an auklet. 

Another sculpin hook from the same locality is represented in figure 
8, plate lxix. It is made from a stout piece of iron, the ends bent 
together and the points sharpened and upturned. It is attached to a 
sinker of gneiss, which is elongated-oval in shape and fastened to the 
line by a lashing of whalebone, which passes around it from end to end. 
A small hook from Sledge island (figure 20, plate lxix) is made from 
two pieces of ivory joined by a small connecting rod, on which is 
strung a tlat blue bead. It is shaped to represent a fish. At the lower 
end are two small, dark-colored wooden pegs set in to represent eyes. 
A short copper hook projects on the inside. Another sculpin hook, 
from Cape Xome (number 4f)281), is made in three pieces. The lower 
part is of dark chocolate-colored stone, the middle of reddish granite, 
and the upper part of ivory. They are lashed together in the usual 

For catching salmon trout and the large-fin grayling, small, orna- 
mented hooks are made of stone and ivory. These hooks are similar 
in character to those used for catching smelts and sculpin along the 
shore of Norton sound ami the coast of Bering strait. One of these 
grayling hooks from Oape Nome is shown in figure 12, plate LXIX. It 
is made from two pieces of stone, the upper of which is chocolate- 
COloi and the lower reddish white. They are neatly joined together 
and held in position by a sinew lashing, which passes through a hole in 

one piece and around a groove along the middle line of the other. A 
small iron pin is passed through the lower part of the shank and corves 

upward in front to form the hook. Attached to the upper and lower 
ends of the shank are orange yellow sheaths from the beak of an 

anklet, the lower end having also a blue bead. 
Figure 21, plate lxix, represents two hooks from the Diomede 

Is, I 


[ETH. ANN. 18 

islands. One is similar in form and ornamentation to the last pre- 
ceding specimen, but the lower portion is Of yellowish bone and the 

upper part of greenish-gray stone. The other is similar iii shape, but 

the upper half of the shank is of white ivory, with two encircling 
grooves in which narrow strips of skin from the legs of an auklet are 
bound, and the lower half of the shank is of dark-colored ivory. A 
grayling hook from CTnalak lit (figure 48) has a leader of whalebone. 
The white ivory shank has a dull green spiral band, produced by stain- 
ing the ivory In some unknown manner. 

Figure 30, plate lxix, represents a set of hooks from the lower Yukon, 
which are intended for catching losh. They have tapering wooden 
shanks, split at the lower end to receive the butts of long wooden or 
deerhorn points, which are lashed in position with spruce 
root. Most of these hooks are provided with rawhide 
leaders, but one leader is made from a strip of whalebone. 
They are held together by thrusting the points into a 
rounded mass of fine shavings bound together with a 
strip of spruce root. 

A hook from the Lower Yukon (figure 15, plate lxviii) 
has an obovate shank of deerhorn, with a spur-like barb of 
iron thrust through the lower end. The upper end is taper- 
ing, flattened, and pierced with a hole for the reception of a 
line. Hooks of this kind are used for small whitefish and 
losh in the streams back from the coast. A losh hook from 
the head of ]STorton bay (figure 17, plate lxix) has an obo- 
vate shank of ivory, bored across through the shank and 
filled with lead to give additional weight. The lower end 
has a hole through which is thrust a small, double-point 
rod of iron, bent upward at the ends to form two barbs. 
A hook used for catching large whitefish or nelma (fig- 
ure 10, plate lxviii) was obtained at Paimut. It has a 
curved deerhorn shank, broadening toward the lower 
end, in which are incisions representing the mouth and 
eyes of a fish. Between the eyes is inserted a strong- 
iron barb,- bent upward at the point. The upper end of the shank is 
forked like the tail of a fish, and has a hole for the line. A hook for 
catching pickerel and whitefish, illustrated in figure 19, plate LXVIII, 
is from CTnalaklit. The shank is broad and flattened toward the upper 
end, where it has two holes for attachment of the line. The edges are 
serrated. Near the lower end it is slender and has an upcurled barb 
of iron fastened with a lashing of sinew cord. Another hook, obtained 
al Sledge island, is somewhat similar to the preceding, but the barb, 
instead <>f being fastened by a lashing, is inserted through a hole in 
the shank, the upper portion of which is broad and has only two 
DOtches on the sides (figure 11, plate LXVIII). Two hooks, from St 
Michael, used foi catching wolf fish, illustrated in figures i) and 11, 

Fiu. i- Grayling 


plate lxix. are attached to rounded, tapering sinkers of ivory. One 
of them has a deerhorn shank, serrated on the edges, with a stout 
iron barb inserted through the lower end. The other hook has ;i 
rude, straight shank, made from a stick about four inches in length, 
with a notch at the upper end for attaching the line, which passes 
downward to the lower end. where a pointed spine of deerhorn is 
lashed obliquely across it. Another variety of hook is a rudely made 
specimen from St Lawrence island (figure 25, plate lxix). It is cut 
from a piece of walrus ivory and is provided with a long barbed point. 
It was used for catching wolf fish, but probably both this and the two 
preceding examples were also used for cod- fishing. 

A similar hook from the same locality is shown in figure 29, plate 
lxix. In this case, however, the shank is of wood with a barbed point 
of bone fitted in a slot at the base. The upper end of the shank has a 
hole for attaching the whalebone line. This hook was used probably 
for catching codfish. An outfit for catching wolf fish, illustrated in fig- 
ure 27, plate lxviii, was obtained at the head of Xorton sound. It 
consists of a shuttle-like rod, 28 inches in length, on which is wound a 
rawhide line, near the end of which a rounded piece of lava, reddish 
in color, is fastened with a basket lashing. The hook has a straight 
deerhorn shank, to the lower end of which is lashed crosswise an iron 
nail with the projecting end pointed. In the fork between the hook and 
the shank a kind of bait composed of sinew-like material is secured 
l»y a lashing. Figure 28, plate LXVIII, shows a similar outfit from Nor- 
ton sound, with the sinker made of a rounded granite pebble grooved 
at each end for the attachment of the rawhide lashing Another out- 
fit (figure 25, plate lxviii), from Norton sound, for catching black fish 
(Pallia) is a long, slender, shuttle like rod 20 inches in length, on which 
is wound a short line of sinew with a small hook at one end. This 
hook has a straight, rounded ivory shank and is provided with a 
pointed iron pin through the lower end, with the tip upcurved. 

A*]ong the shore of Bering sea and the adjacent Arctic coast con- 
siderable ingenuity is displayed by the people in manufacturing sink- 
«M - for fishing lines, and a great variety are made. For several species 
of iNli the sinker is intended to attract the flsh, as well as to serve as 
a weight for the line, and is made of a variegated white and dark 
colored stone. Other sinkers, of ivory, have a portion of the surface 

blackened, and sonic of the stone sinkers have an ivory cap. A large 

collection of these objects was obtained, from which typical examples 

lia\ e been selected lor ill list r;i tioil. 

A specimen from the IHomede islands .figure 32, plate I . \ I \ 18 a 

piece of bone, discolored to a chocolate brown, pierced with a hole and 

oved near the tipper end to receive the line. The Lower end has 

a hole tor fastening the leader for the hook. The lower end represents 

the head of ;i lish. with an incisiOD tor the mouth: a blue head repre- 
sents one eye and a piece of lead the other. Another example from 


the same locality (figure L6, plate lxix) is a long, oval stone with a 
rounded ivory cap, held in position bya deerhornpin passed through 
both Substances. A hole for the line is in the upper end of the ivory 
cap and another in the lower end of the stone portion. A similar 
sinker f figure 1, plate lxix) was obtained at Port Clarence by Dr 
Dall. It is made from a piece of granite and has a cap of chocolate- 
color ivory, held in position by an iron rivet through the two "pieces; 
the ivory portion has a flattened point, and on the sides a pair of eyes 
are represented by two inlaid rings of ivory, in which blue beads are 
set. A similar sinker, from Cape Xome (figure 7, plate lxix) is made 
of stone, with a small ivory cap fastened by a rivet. The long, round 
stone sinker shown in figure 27, plate lxix, was obtained on Sledge 
island. It tapers below to a blunt point, where it is pierced for a 
leader. The upper end is truncated, and has fitted qji it a long, round 
tail like piece of ivory, lashed in position with a strand of whalebone 
passed through holes in the two parts. In the stone is a hole to 
receive a long leader for two hooks. Another sinker, of variegated 
black and white stone, from the same locality (figure 2G, plate lxix), 
has an ivory cap fastened with a lashing passed through a hole in the 
lower end of the ivory and around a groove in the stone. A black 
and white stone sinker from Cape Nome (figure 23, plate lxix) has 
been broken in the middle and neatly mended with a strong lashing of 
whalebone passed through two holes and around a deep groove in the 
sides. A small sinker of greenish stone from Sledge island (figure 19, 
plate lxix) is rudely shaped to represent a fish, having ivory pegs 
with black centers inlaid for eyes. It has a small hole at each end for 
attaching the lines. Another specimen from the same locality (figure 
13, plate lxix) is a handsome sinker of variegated white and brown 
stone, with a deep groove on each side near the ends, in which holes 
are bored for attaching the lines.- The black and white ivory sinker 
shown in figure 18, plate lxix, was obtained on Nunivak island. Eyes, 
also black and white in color, are inlaid in the black upper surface. 

The black and white, flattened stone sinker shown in figure 6, plate 
lxix. is from Cape Nome. A long ivory sinker from llotham inlet (figure 
15, plate LXIX) has a hole at each end 5 the upper end is surrounded by 
four grooves and raven totem marks. On one side is a rude etching 
representing a framework for drying fish. The bone sinker from St 
Lawrence island, shown iii figure 31, plate lxix, is triangular in cross 
section and pierced at the upper end lor the line; on the lower half, 
at each of the angles, is an ear containing a hole for attaching a leader. 
Another example from the same place (figure 33, plate lxix) is a rude 
bone sinker, roughly obovate in shape, with a hole at the upper end 
for a line and two ear-like projections near the lower end for attaching 
leaders. A heavy ivory sinker (figure 2, plate lxix) was obtained at 
Plover bay by Mr W. M. Noyes. It has holes around the sides and the 
bottom for attaching leaders. The upper end is oval in cross section 
and tapers to a thin, tiat point, pierced for the line. About the base 


are three upright spines, projecting slightly outward, carved from the 
same piece, which serve as additional hooks for capturing fish that 
may gather around, attracted by the white ivory. This sinker has 
been used in fishing for tomcod and other small fish. In the deep 
water off the headlands, from Golofnin bay to Cape Nome, large crabs 
are very abundant; sometimes specimens are seen measuring three feet 
from tip to tip of their outstretched claws. They are caught daring 
March and April by the use of a bait of dead fish tied to the end of a 
line and sunk to the bottom through a hole in the ice. In March, 1880, 
near Cape Darby, I saw large numbers of people fishing for crabs by 
this method, and on the 10th of March, west of Cape Darby, I found a 
party of about twenty-five people, from Sledge island, who had been 
starved out at home and were camping there, living on the tomcod and 
crabs, which were abundant. Their crab lines were fastened to small 
sticks set in the snow beside the holes in the ice, thus enabling one 
person to watch several holes. When the crab seized the bait the 
stick was moved sufficiently to attract the attention of the watcher, 
who at once drew in his line. Small snow shelters were built beside 
the holes to protect the fishermen from the wind; they were open on 
one side and had a crescentic base with the convexity toward the direc- 
tion of the wind, while some of them were partially arched over. The 
crabs were so plentiful that one day, soon after my arrival, a man and 
a woman came in bringing about two hundred pounds, which they had 
taken during the day. 

As soon as the ice leaves the coast of Norton sound, in June, herrings 
arrive and spawn on the seaweed about the rocky points and shores of 
the small bays. At this time many of them are caught by means of 
small seines made from rawhide or sinew cord; but about the latter 
part of June commences what to these people is the most important of 
all fishing seasons. This is the time for the arrival of the salmon. The 
king salmon enter the rivers first, and are followed during the season 
by two or three smaller species of inferior quality. Along the entire 
coast, from the Kuskokwim to Point Barrow and up Kuskokwim and 
Yukon rivers, the Eskimo are very busy during July and August 
catching and curing these iish. The cleaning is done by the women. 
The fish are split from the head to the base of the tail, the entrails 
removed, and the fish thrown over a raised framework and left hanging 
until dry, when they are stored away in bales or bunches. The large 
king salmon (chow-chee), after being Split, are slushed crosswise at short 
intervals to open the llesh and thus facilitate drying; the backbone is 

also generally removed and dried separately. When dry, the smaller 

Species, called dog salmon, arc always tied in bunches of twenty, ami 

■iif stored or Bold in this shape. 


Along the entire seacoast salmon are canght in gill nets, which are 
placed at intervals alone tin- shore. <)n lower Yukon and Kusko* 


kwim rivers wicker iish traps are set, with a brush and wicker-work 
fence connecting them witb the shore. These fish traps form an elon- 
gated cone, with a funnel -shape entrance in the larger end. Bach has 
two long poles at the sides of the month or broad end and another at 
the small end. by means of which it is raised or lowered. It is set at 
the outer end of the wicker-work fence witli the mouth facing down- 
stream, and held in place by poles driven in the river bottom with their 
ends projecting above the water. 

A model of a trap from the lower Yukon, used for catching salmou, 
is illustrated in figure 14, plate lxx. The funnel-shape mouth is fas- 
tened to a square framework, with handle-like extensions along the 
upper and lower sides, by means of which poles are fastened for guid- 
ing the trap in setting, and which rest against the poles driven into the 
river bottom to keep the trap in position. 

The Eskimo living near the base of the Kuslevak mountains go to 
the Yukon delta to fish for salmon. Norton bay and the shores around 
the head of Norton sound are occupied by people from the surround- 
ing districts, who gather there during the fishing season. Nearly all 
of the Sledge islanders resort to the adjacent mainland at this time. 

Throughout the region the people go out from their villages to sum- 
mer camps at places where the run of fish is known to be greatest, and 
all enjoy a season of plenty, always anticipated with pleasure by the 
entire community. 

At times fish are so plentiful ou the lower Yukon in July, while the 
dog salmon are running, that the wicker fish traps, which measure 4 to 5 
feet in diameter and about 10 feet in length, have to be emptied several 
times a day to prevent their breaking. The gill nets are also watched 
constantly by the owner, who goes out in his kaiak whenever the 
motion of the floats shows there are fish in them, and, drawing up the 
net so that the heads of the fish are above water, he stuns them by a 
blow from a short club and removes them from the net. 

Figure 2, plate lxx, represents one of these clubs for killing fish, which 
was obtained at Sabotnisky. It is made of spruce and is reduced 
in size downward to form a slender handle, suboval in cross section, 
grooved on each side, and wrapped with spruce root at the grip. 
Toward the end it becomes larger and is rounded, and then tapers 
again to a truncated point. Another club of this character, from 
Sledge island, is shown in figure 1 of the same plate. It is 30 inches 
long, and is oval in cross section. 

The blackfish (Pallia pectoral is) is common wherever sluggish 
Streams and lakelets occur from Kot/ebue sound to lvuskokwim river. 
Throughout this region they are taken by means of small wicker traps, 
about is inches in diameter and 5 feet long, which are set in small 
Streams, with a wicker fence leading from the months of the traps to the 

A model of one of these traps, from St Michael, is illustrated in 






figure 13. plate lxx, showing the method of construction. Splints of 
spruce are fastened together in a bunch to form the small end of the 
trap, and are held in position by a rawhide or spruce-root lashing; 
thence toward the mouth they are held in place by a wrapping of 
spruce root, which is wound spirally several times around the circum- 
ference to the mouth, forming a cone shape basket; the splints are 
fastened to the wrapping by a lashing of spruce root or rawhide, which 
is wound around the crossings of the framework: in the mouth of the 
trap is a conical mouthpiece attached to a square framework of four 
sticks and inserted in the larger end of the trap, where it is fastened by 
lashings on each side. 

By means of traps of this character vast quantities of blackfish are 
taken in the waters of the low country between Yukon and Kuskokwim 
rivers, where they are very abundant, and form one of the principal 
sources of food supply for the people during several months of the 

After the salmon season, the main trapping for fish is done along the 
lower Yukon and in the adjacent region in autumn, just before and after 
the streams become frozen; at this time the salmon traps are set again 
and vast quantities of whitefish, losh, pickerel, and blackfish are secured 
and preserved by freezing for use later in the season. The traps are 
kept out until midwinter, but the main catch is while the iish are crowd- 
ing in from the small streams. Plate lxxi, from a photograph, shows 
the method of setting these traps through the ice on the Yukon, near 
Ikogmut (Mission). 

On Norton sound, when high gales blow from the north during Sep- 
tember and October, very low tides ensue, and the women go out among 
the exposed rocks to gather mussels, ascidians, and several kinds of 
fish which are found concealed beneath the large stones off the rocky 


Gill nets for salmon are set usually on a line leading from the shore 1 . 
The inner end of the line is made fast to a stone or a stake, and the 
owner carries the other end out to the proper distance and anchors it 
with a stone. At the outer end of the net is fastened a wooden marker- 
float, commonly made in t lie form of a bird. Rounded wooden floats, 

varying considerably in form, are also strung at intervals along the 
upper edge of the net. a specimen of these net floats, from Ikogmut, 
is illustrated in figure i. plate i.w. It Is fashioned in the shapeof a 

loon, with a long, projecting neck, and is made from ;i single piece of 
wood. A hole runs through it for attaching the cold; two incised 

grooves outline the wings, and a wide, shallow groove extends around 

the edge. All of tl tese grooves are painted red; the center of the back 
has a greenish tint, bul the wings are not colored, 

At ('ape Blossom, on the Arctic coast, the people were seen using -ill 
nets about 25 feet in length, strung with floats and sinkers in t he usual 



II II. ANN. 18 

manner. A stout cord held one end fast to a stake on the shore, while 
the owner, by means of several slender poles lashed together, pushed 

the anchor stone on the outer end out to its place, thus setting the net. 
When the tloats gave indication that lish had been caught, the net was. 
pulled in hand over hand, the fish removed, and the net reset. This 
plan appeared to work very successfully, as evidenced by the large 
number of lish on the drying frames close by. 

On Kotzebue sound, in the month of September, I saw a party of 
Malemut catching whitefish with a seine. The net was fitted with 
wooden iloats and stone sinkers in the usual manner, and was about 
(10 icet long, the ends being spread by stout stakes secured by lashings 
of cord. The shore end of the net was held by two men standing at 
the waters edge; the other end was pushed out from the shore to its 
full extent by the aid of several long poles. A long, rawhide line was 
made fast to the outer end of the net and another to the middle of the 
string of poles, by which it was pulled along. One man carried the inner 

Fig. 49— Seining on Kotzebue sound. 

end of the pole along the beach between the two rear line men and the 
men holding the net. In this way the net was drawn along the beach 
for 100 or 200 yards, and when the fish were running large hauls were 
made. The accompanying figure 49, showing this method, is from a 
sketch made at the time. 

Between Cape Roinanzof and the mouth of Kuskokwim river the 
greater part of the fishing is done by means of dip-nets, but great 
quantities of stickleback and other small fish are taken in small nets 
or seines of line rawhide cord. Large dip-nets for whitefish are made 
of the same material, and among the people south of Cape Vancouver 
this style of net is used more than the gill net. A dip-net obtained by 
Lieutenant Stoney at the head of Kotzebue sound is about three feet 
Ion-, and Is made of twisted sinew cord. The upper third of the net has 
meshes about an inch in diameter; this is joined to the finer-mesh 
lower portion by a rawhide cord, which is knotted into the adjoining 
meshes of the two parts. The meshes of the lower portion are less 
than half the size of those of the upper part. On the lower point 
of the net is a rawhide loop, by means of which it can be raised and 
the contents discharged. A small dip-net obtained at Ikogmut is 

























Fig. 50— HesU of dip-net made <>t' sinew 

(about |). 

shown in figure 1C>, plate lxx. The hoop at the top is a round willow- 
stick, with the beveled ends overlapping and bound together. The 
handle extends across the hoop and projects four and one-half inches 
on one side. The net is shallow, made 
of twisted sinew cord, and is joined to 
the hoop by a spiral wrapping of spruce 
root, which passes around the frame and 
through the bordering meshes. 

The accompanying figure 50 shows the 
mesh of a larger dip-net from Sabotnisky. 
This net is about thirty inches in diame- 
ter, is made of twisted sinew cord, and 
is used for catching various kinds of 
small fish. A small, strongly made dip- 
net of willow bark, obtained by Lieuten- 
ant Stoney from the region back of 
Kotzebue sound, is shown in figure 10, 
plate lxx. It is only about fifteen inches in diameter; the meshes are 
of diamond shape around the border and quadrate on the bottom. 
The mesh of a large dip-net used for catching salmon and whitefish 
(figure 51) was obtained from Sabotnisky. It is about six feet in 
length and the same in diameter, and is made of willow bark. The 

hoop is of spruce wood, with a 
long, slender handle of the same 
material, which crosses the hoop. 
Figure 12, plate lxx, represents 
a dip-net from Plover bay, Sibe- 
ria, made of whalebone, which is 
used for catching small fish, in the 
lakes and streams of that vicinity. 
The mouth of the net is held 
open by a stout rim of whalebone. 
Four strands of the same material 
are attached at intervals around 
the rim and fastened together 
about sixteen inches above it. A 
heavy granite bowlder, grooved 
to receive the lashing, is fastened 
to a whalebone ring in t he hot tow 
of t he net, which is used by being 
thrown out into tin 4 water and 
then hauled to the shore bya cord. 
A herring seine of Binew cord, 
from St Michael figure 52), has a number of rounded, subtriangular 
wooden floats pierced at their small end for attachment to a sealskin 
cord which runs along the upper edge of the net : to ;i coid stretched 

$1— Mesh of dip-net made of willow bar! 



[ KTH. ANN. 18 

along the lower border arc Lashed pieces of deerhorn four to five inches 
in length, which serve as weights and also as handles by which the 
iit-t can be hauled to the shore. A seine ol* twisted sinew cord similar 
to the preceding, obtained at Hothain inlet (number 63612), is about 
thirty inches in width, with a stretcher of wood at each end. It has 
Oval wooden floats and deerhorn and stone sinkers. 

A small-mesh seine of sinew cord, used for herring and whiteh'sh, 
obtained at Gape Prince of Wales, is shown in figure 53. It is nearly 

thirty inches wide, and has 
wooden stretehers at each 
end, a series of rounded, 
tapering' iloats along' the up- 
per edge, and handle like 
sinkers of ivory along the 
lower border. Another 
small- mesh herring seine, 
about five feet wide, obtained 
at St Michael (figure 54), is 
made from fine sealskin cord. 
Along the bottom is strung a 
series of small oval stone sink- 
ers, notched above and below 
to secure the lashings. 

Floats for nets are some- 
times carved in the shape of 
birds and in other forms. Fig- 
ure 15, plate lxx, represents 
a float rudely fashioned in the 
form of a grebe ; another, from 
the lower Yukon (plate lxx, 
8), represents the head of 
a man and the flattened tail 
of a bird. A float from St 
Lawrence island (figure 55) 
is round in cross section, 
large in the middle, and 
tapers gradually to both 
ends, where there are slight 
shoulders to retain the cords by which it is made fast. Others are 
merely rounded blocks of wood, pierced for attachment to the net. 

In addition to the wooden iloats, others are made from the inflated 
bladders or stomachs of various animals. Figure 9, plate lxx, illns 
t rates a set of three such Iloats and a wooden marker-float for use on 
one end of the net. The latter is a thin, curved piece of wood in the 
form ol' a thumbless hand, with a round, excavated depression in the 
center, which, with t lie inside of t lie linger tips, is painted black. This 

FlG, 52— Mesh, float, ami sinker of herring seine (£). 




hand is similar to that represented BO frequently in this region on masks 
and in paintings of mythological beings. Figure 7, plate LXX, illus- 
trates a stone sinker for a net, obtained at Point Hope, consisting of a 
roughly triangular pebble with 
a lashing of rawhide terminating 
in a loop tor attaching it to the 
net. It is not grooved, advant- 
age being taken of the natural 
shape to secure the lashings. 
Another example (figure (>, plate 
lxx). from the Diomede islands, 
is a rounded bowlder, with 
two pecked grooves extending 
around it in opposite directions, 
around which is a stout sealskin 
cord. The lashings on both this 
and the preceding sinker are per- 
manent, and the attachment to 
the net is made by a separate 

Ivory or bone weights fre- 
quently alternate with stone 
sinkers on the nets, and serve 
both as sinkers and handles. 
They vary from five to six or 
seven inches in length , are more 
or less curved, and have a hole 
at each end for fastening them 
to the net. A small bone handle of this kind (number 36395), with 
the raven totem mark on its inner surface, was obtained at Ivushunnk. 
A sel of four such handles from the lower Yukon are shown in figure 11, 

plate ia\. Another 
set of four handles, 
from ('ape Vancou- 
ver, illustrated in fig- 
ure :">. plate lx \, are 
slender, curved, bone 

rods, with ;i hole at 
eacL end. The sub 

oval weight of walrus 
ivory shown in figure 

5, plate IA \. was «»!> 
tained on St Law- 
rence island. 

Directly after the tree/in.: <>! t he Yukon in t he fall t here is an annual 

run of lamprey, winch pass up the river, just below the ice. in great 

Fia. 53 — Herring seine, with stretcher at one end and 

with float and sinker ( . i. 

Fio. 54 — Sealskin cord berriu tfa itone link* 


numbers. Holes are kept open in the iee by the people who watch for 
the first appearance of fcbese lish. As soon as the first one is seen 
everybody seizes a dip-net or ii stout stick with ;i short cross-piece at 

the lower end and throws out as 
many as possible. When the main 
body of the fish have passed, the 
people run up the river for some dis- 
tance, cut other holes, and repeat the 
catch. This is continued until the 

Fig. ■).)— W ooden net lloat (g). 

people are exhausted by the violent 
exertion or a neighboring village is reached, when they are compelled 
to stop and give way to those living in that locality. 



Various tools are used by the Eskimo in the manufacture of nets, 
several forms of which were seen in different districts. From St Law- 
rence island several curiously shaped whalebone gauges for the meshes 
of nets were obtained. One of these (number 127020) is a trifle over 
six and one-half inches in length, and is a flat, oblong tablet, with a 
small projection at each end on one side. From the holes through it 
near one end it had evidently been used previously as part of a sledge 
runner. The specimen illustrated in figure 1, plate lxxii, is similar in 
form and material to the preceding, but is smaller. Similar but shorter 
examples are shown in figures 2 and 3, plate lxxii. Each of these has 
a long, curved handle projecting from one corner and a short spur from 
the other. 

A whalebone gauge from Kotzebue sound (figure 7, plate lxxii) is 
notched along each side to receive a sinew cord to secure it to the 
wooden handle in which it is inserted. The specimen from Sledge 
island (figure 13, plate lxxii) is a long-blade gauge of ivory, with a 
heavy back. The handle is grooved to receive the fingers, and ter- 
minates in an image of a seal's head, with eyes, ears, and nose repre- 
sented by inlaid, blackened wooden pegs. 

The long blade ivory gauge with heavy back, from Cape Darby (fig- 
ure 12, plate lxxii), has a long, tapering deerhorn handle riveted and 
lashed to its upper side. The example from the Diomede islands (fig- 
ure 11, plate lxxii) is a large, heavy, ivory gauge with a plain handle, 
which has a rude projection at the inner end to prevent it from slip- 
ping. The deerhorn gauge from Cape Nome (figure 8, plate lxxii) is 
fastened in the split end of a wooden handle by a lashing of spruce 
loot. A gauge similar to this was obtained on Nunivak island. A 
small, double-end gauge from Sabotnisky (figure 10, plate lxxii) is 
slightly different in size at each end. The handle is enlarged in the 
middle and has a stick lashed to it by spruce roots to make it large 
enough to afford a convenient grip for the hand. The single-blade 



NET-MAKING IMPLEMENTS nearly one-fourth 


deerhorn gauge trom Shaktolik (figure 5, plate lxxii) is similar in 

form to the preceding; it has a circular hole through the middle, sur- 
rounded by an incised circle; the handle is pierced with four holes, 
three of equal size and one larger. Figure 9, plate lxxii, shows a hand- 
somely made ivory gauge from Cape Vancouver, with a handle wrapped 
by spruce roots, and figure 6, plate lxxii, illustrates a small gauge from 
Kushunuk. made of deerhorn, with a handle enlarged toward the butt. 
The deerhorn gauge from Xunivak island shown in figure 11, plate 
lxxii, is grooved along the upper edge and has a handle terminating 
in a hook curved downward. 

The specimen from Xubviukhchugaluk (figure 1, plate lxxii) is a 
small gauge entirely different in form from the others. It is of deer- 
horn, with a handle oval in cross section, from which it projects at a 
right angle a little over two inches. 


The shuttles used in making nets also vary considerably in size and 
form, according to locality and to the purpose for which the nets are to 
be used. 

Figure 14, plate lxxiii, illustrates a small wooden shuttle from 
Sledge island, used for making fine-mesh nets. The long, slender, ivory 
shuttle, shown in figure 26, plate lxiii, is also from Sledge island. 

The long, slender shuttle from Cape Nome, shown in figure 25, plate 
lxxiii, has the central portion of wood and the two ends made of bone, 
with a wedge-shape notch on the inner side, into which the tapering 
ends of the wooden portion are fitted and held in position by means of 
a series of cross rivets. 

The shuttle from the lower Yukon (figure 28, plate lxxiii) is made of 
deerhorn and has conventional figures and patterns etched on one 
surface. Another deerhorn shuttle from Gape Nome (figure 18, plate 
lxxiii) has four reindeer etched on one side. The specimen from Kot- 
zebue sound (figure 27, plate lxxiii) is a long, plain, deerhorn shuttle. 

The deerhorn shuttle from Nunivak island (figure 19, plate lxxiii) 
has the end openings deeper than usual and the borders along the sides 
are raised above the plane of the Hat, central portion. One of the arms 
is made from a separate piece and is attached by means of sinew cords 
passed through three holes in the main pari of the shuttle. 

The specimen from Cape Nome shown in figure 21, phite lxxiii, is a 
long wooden shuttle. At the bottom of the notch in each end it is 

crossed by a sinew lashing, to prevent it from splitting, the lashing 
passing through two holes on each side of the edge. A deep groove 

runs along the Sides between the notches in the ends. The Long 

wooden .shuttle from Sledge island represented in figure 23, plate 

LXXIII, has a deep groove along the side- bet ween the notches. 

Figure 20, plate lxxiii, shows ;i large, heavy, wooden shuttle, such 
as is used in making nets for catching white whales or large seals. It 


was obtained on one of the Diomede islands. The large wooden shuttle 
from Cape Vancouver (figure 8, plate lxxiii) has two sides made of 
separate pieces, wliieh are held together by crossbars which pierce the 
sides at the bottom of each notch. The inside is excavated to forn 
two long, triangular borders. 

Figure 21, plate lxxiii, represents a large, rather broad, wooden 
shuttle from Xunivak island. It has a Hat groove extending between 
the notches. 

The wooden shuttle shown in figure 10, plate LXXIII, is from Paimut, 
as is also that shown in figure of the same plate, which is made of 
one piece with two long openings in the middle. 

The specimen from Norton sound (figure 22, plate lxxiii) is a large 
wooden shuttle used in making nets for capturing seals and white 

The deerhorn shuttle from Nulukhtulogumut (figure 16, plate lxxiii) 
contains some fine, twisted sinew cord. 

A long, narrow, wooden shuttle from Sabotnisky (figure 15, plate 
lxxiii) has the two ends lashed with sinew cord to prevent the wood 
from splitting 5 wound upon it is some fine cord made from the twisted 
inner bark of the willow. The large wooden shuttle from the lower 
Yukon (figure 17, plate lxxiii) is also filled with cord made from mate- 
rial similar to that in the preceding specimen. 

The shuttle from St Lawrence island (figure 12, plate lxxiii) is made 
of whalebone in the shape of an arrowpoint, with the center excavated, 
leaving a long, tongue-like point projecting from the base toward the 
tip. Another shuttle (figure 11, plate lxxiii) from the same locality 
is filled with well-made, twisted sinew cord. 

Figure 13, plate lxxiii, represents a shuttle, obtained on the coast of 
Japan by General Capron, which is similar in pattern to the i)receding. 
The Eskimo of eastern Siberia and of St Lawrence island must have 
derived the pattern of their shuttles from farther south, and the 
imported design thus replaced the ordinary kind in use among their 
relatives of the islands of Bering strait and the American shore. 

Figure 7, plate lxxiii, represents a long, wooden, netting needle, 
tapering toward both ends, with a large hole in the middle; it is used 
for mending the broken meshes of nets. The double-point ivory net- 
ting needle from Askinuk (figure 4, plate lxxiii) is similar in shape to 
the preceding. 

The ivory netting needle, pierced at one end, shown in figure <>, plate 
LXXIII, was obtained at Cape Nome. The large, curved needle of deer- 
li'Tn represented in figure 5, plate lxxiii, is from the lower Yukon. 

Figure •*>, plate LXXIII, from Ukagamut, and figure L of the same plate, 
from K ushunuk, represent small needles used in mending the meshes 
Of small nets. A needle from St Michael (figure 2, plate LXXIII) is 
somewhat similar to the preceding, but has a hole near the center 
instead of mar one end. 




- s 




Marlinspike^ are used for tying and slipping meshes while making 
iictN; they also serve for slipping meshes to enlarge or to reduce their 

e wIkmi it is desired to change the uses of nets. 

Figure 21, plate i.wii. illustrates a large marlinspike, from Raz- 
binsky. It is made from reindeer horn, tapers to a blunt end, and has 
the upper end forked. 

Figure L8, plate LXXII, shows an implement, from the lower Kusko- 
kwim. similar to the last mentioned but smaller in size. A curved mar- 
linspike from Pastolik (figure 17. plate LXXII) is made of ivory and is 
oblong in cross sec- 
tion. Another exam- 
ple, from ( Sape Nome 
figure 1 '•>. plate 
l.wil . has an ivory 

point fitted into ;i slot in a wooden handle and held in place by a 
imu hide lashing. 

jure L6, plate i.wii. represents a marlinspike from Norton sound; 
it is made of ivory and is double pointed; it is nearly plain on two 
sides and convex on the other. A line of walrus is etched upon one 
side, houses on another, and a conventional pattern ornaments the 

are 56 shows a marlinspike used for slipping knots in large nets. 
It is from Nunivak island and is round in shape, the handle terminat- 
ing in a figure of the head of a murre, with the mouth, nostrils, and 

IS marked by inched line-. A marlinspike from Norton sound 

ire 57 has a bone point set in a slot in the wooden handle and held 

in position by lashings of spruce root. The example from Cape Nome 

Fio. 56 I < hit marlinspike (J). 

Mai linspike with bone poinl 

figure 20, plate lxxu has a large, blunt point at one end and at the 
othei ' Bmall, -pur like point which serves for loosening knots. 

ne L5, plate lxxii, represents a marlinspike Iron. Kotzebue 
'I: it is a ion-, slender rod of ivory, triangular In cross section, 
having all its surfaces ornamented with etched figures of whale-, wal- 
rus, and hunting scenes. A specimen from the lower Yukon has a 
poinl set in ;i wooden handle ami held iii place by a lashing 

hI d. 

Several forms of reels are employed for holding the small cord used 
in making net b, 

ire 24, plate lxxii, represents one of these reels from Morton 
il. 1 1 is neatly grooved; ;it the t ips of t In- arms of the fork ;it one 
.iif t l-heads, and the hind-flippers are al the other end ; ;i 

18 STB 

194 THE Eskimo ABOUT BERING STRAIT bth.anh u 

grooved pattern extends down their backs and the fore-flippers are 

indicated by etched lines. 

A grotesquely made reel of deerhorn, from Sledge island, is shown in 
figure 26, plate lxxii. One end is ornamented with the head of a wolf; 
the opposite side is forked to represent the legs of the animal, and two 
forked arms at the other end represent the hind-limbs. 

A reel of deerhorn from Sabotnisky (figure 25, plate lxxii ) has the 
tops of the arms at one end, as well as one of the arms at the other 
end, carved in the shape of animal heads. On the sides are etched 

Figure 23, plate LXXII, from Cape Nome, and figure 22 of the same 
plate, from Kigiktauik, represent deerhorn reels without ornament. 


In the fall season holes are made in the ice at places where the water 
is sufficiently clear to render objects visible several feet below the sur- 
face. Through these holes fisli are speared, and large quantities of 
whitefisli and pickerel are obtained by this method. 

Figure 3, plate lxvii, shows a typical example of these fish spears 
from St Michael. It consists of a wooden shaft about six feet in length, 
with a sharp, deerhorn point, surrounded by narrow pieces of deer- 
horn with triangular points which are secured by a lashing to a 
shoulder on the shaft. At the base of these points a wooden crossbar, 
fastened by a strong leather cord, holds the points in their relative 
position. AVhen a fish is struck with the central point, the triangular 
sidepieces spread a little, grasp the fish firmly with their inner edges, 
and hold it until it can be drawn out of the water. A somewhat simi- 
lar fish spear from Kazbinsky (figure 5, plate lxvii) has the central 
point barbed, instead of smooth as in the preceding specimen; the 
sidepieces are fastened against a shoulder on the shaft by rawhide 
cords, and the points are lashed across the ends in a similar manner. 
Figure 42, 1, represents a deerhorn prong for one of these fish spears 
from the lower Yukon. Another fish spear, from llazbinsky (plate 
LXVII, 6), has two points of reindeer horn with two notches on one 
side of each. A short-handle fish spear from the lower Yukon (plate 
LXVII, 4) has only one large, single barb point lashed against the 
side of the shaft. The head of a fish spear from Nunivak island, 
(plate LXVIII, 1) has the central point surrounded by six others, 
inserted in slits in the end of the shaft and held in place by a lashing 
of spruce root. All of these points are barbed for about four inches 
along one ^d^a. 

A small fish spear from Nnnivak island (figure 2, plate lxvii) has a 
ceutral point, surrounded by three other points, forming a triangle: 
these points are inserted in tin' shaft and beld in position by a rounded 
ivory ferule. The shaft is very slender, round in cross section, and 


about tour feet in length; it is in two sections with overlapping euds 
beveled and held together by a lashing of twisted sinew cord. 

Another spear from the same locality (figure 1, plate lxvii) is sim- 
ilar to the preceding except that it has four points instead of three 
Surrounding the central point, which are also held in position by an 
ivory ring. The inner sides of all the points on both of these spears 
arc notched to form barbs. 

From the lower Ivuskokwim northward to Kotzebue sound spears 
used for taking salmon and whitetish have large points of bone, deer- 
horn, or ivory, with from one to three barbs. They are pierced near the 
butt for the attachment of a cord, and at this end are of a rounded 
wedge shape for insertion into a slot in the end of a long- wooden shaft; 
a stout sealskin line is made fast to the point, drawn up along- the 
shaft, and terminated in a coil, which is held in the hand of the fisher- 
man. When a fish is struck the shaft becomes detached, leaving the 
barbed point in the fish, which is hauled ashore by aid of the line. 

The points of these spears vary considerably in character, as is shown 
in the examples described ; they are intended for capturing large fish in 
the streams flowing into the sea, or in the tributaries of the larger 
rivers in the interior; but they are also sometimes used for spearing 

white whale-. 

Figure 7. plate LXVIII, illustrates one of these points from Norton 
Bound; it is made of bone and has four barbs, two on each side; to 
the hole in the butt is attached a piece of stout rawhide line. A slen- 
der point of deerhorn, from Kowak river (figure 30, plate lxviii), has a 
baib on each Mile. Another from the same locality (figure 2, plate 
i. win is a flat, slender point of bone with a single barb. A bone 
point from < nalitmut (figure 3, plate lxviii) has a single barb and is 
made in two pieces; the overlapping ends are riveted together and 
wrapped with two rawhide lashings. A short, rudely made bone point 
from Norton sound (figure 8, plate lxviii) has two barbs, one on each 
side, and two holes near the base. Figure 1, plate lxviii, from Agiuk- 
chngumnt, ami figure 29 of the same plate, from Norton sound, repre- 
sent bone points with one barb. 

To attract pickerel and large whitetish within reach of their spears 

while fishing through holes in the ice, the Eskimo of the lower Yukon 
make DSC of the figure Of a fish about six or seven inches long. They 

e two holes pierced through the back for sinew cords, which are tied 
ether a fe^ inches above ami continue thence upward as a single 
Btring. These images are well fashioned, with the eye-, -ill openings, 
scales, and lateral line indicated by etched lines. The fisherman stands 
directly over the hole and dangles the image a tew feet below the sur 
face <»t the water, holding the spear in Ins hand ready to thrust on the 
approach of the fish, which rush at the lore ami are readily speared, 
are 6, plate i.\ \ m. represents one of these lures, which was obtained 
at KazbiiiHkv. 



The Alaskan Eskimo are remarkable for their dexterity in working 
wood, bone, ivory, and reindeer horn. This is particularly noticeable 
among the people on the islands of Bering strait and the mainland 
coast from Point Hope southward to the mouth of Kuskokwim river. 
Within this area the implements used in hunting and for household 
purposes are handsomely made and often are elaborately ornamented; 
special skill is shown in adapting the forms of mammals, birds, and 
fish, with which they are familiar, to the ornamentation of useful arti- 
cles. In addition to utilizing animal forms for this purpose, they dis- 
play considerable imaginative faculty in the conception of designs for 
fanciful carvings, as well as in ornamental patterns, which are fre- 
quently etched on the surface of various objects. Many of their carv- 
ings are really artistic, and the skill with which animal forms are 
carved in relief is admirable. The beauty of their work is the more 
surprising when we consider the rude tools with which it is accom- 
plished. Of the articles obtained many are very ancient, and, the old 
men told me, had been made by the use of flint tools. The execution 
of these carvings is equal to that of the specimens produced by the use 
of iron and steel tools at the present time. 

While a considerable degree of artistic taste and skill is quite gen- 
eral, there are some districts in which the people seem to have a 
greater amount of ability in this direction than the average. The most 
notable instance of this is among the people living between the Yukon 
delta and the lower Kuskokwim, which is amply illustrated in the 
collection, obtained in that locality, of elaborate masks, handsomely 
ornamented wooden boxes and trays, and a great variety of beautifully 
executed ivory work. The villages of Askinuk, Kushunuk, Agiukchu- 
gumut, and others in this vicinity, supplied a fine series of ivory carvings, 
well-made 1 wooden dishes, and numerous implements of wood and ivory, 
all marked by excellence of workmanship. The people of Ukagamut 
were living in the greatest squalor, even for Eskimo, yet among them 
were found beautiful specimens of ivory carving. 

Before working bone, deerhorn, or ivory, it is the custom to soak 
the material thoroughly in urine in order to soften it, and indeed it is 
frequently wetted with the same liquid as the work progresses. For 
rendering the etched lines on the surface of carvings more distinct, a 
black paint is made from a mixture of gunpowder and blood, winch is 
rubbed into the freshly cut incisions, making a- permanent stain. 

I n places where ivory is plentiful l he men appeared to delight in occu- 
pying their leisure time in making carvings from that material or from 
bone, sometimes for use. but frequently merely for pastime, and many 
iittle images are made as toys for children. The articles thus produced 

mi- ( AIM IN'. AND DRAWING 197 

are not regarded by them as having any particular value, and I was 
often amused at the delight with which they sold specimens of their 
work tor one or two needles, a brass button, or some similar trifle. 

The women of the district between the Yukon delta and Kuskokwim 
river are not very proficient in needlework or in ornamenting* their gar- 
ments the artistic skill appearing to be confined to the men; but on 
the islands and the adjacent American shore of Bering strait, while the 
men make very handsome ivory work, the women are equally skilful in 
beautiful ornamental needlework on articles of clothing. This is nota- 
bly the case with the finely decorated sealskin boots for which the 
natives of Diomede and King islands are noted. 

The men at Point Hope, on the Arctic coast, are also skilful in ivory 
work. About the shores of Kot/ebue sound and Bering strait various 
articles and implements, such as celts, knives, knife sharpeners, and 
labrets, are made from nephrite. 

On the Asiatic shore the Eskimo appear to have lost much of their 
skill in carving and other ornamental work; consequently their cloth- 
ing and implements, both on the mainland coast and on St Lawrence 
island, arc rudely made. 

In ascending Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, as the coast districts are 
left behind skill in carving becomes less and less marked among the 
Eskimo, until those living as neighbors to the Tinne appear to have 
but little ability in that art. Paimut, the last Eskimo village on the 
Yukon, was notable for the fact that the tools and other implements in 
use were as rode as those of the adjacent Tinne. 

In addition to their skill in carving, the Eskimo of the coast display 
it ability in etching upon tools and implements, notably on ivory 
drill bows, scenes from their daily lite, records of hunts, or other events. 
They also produce ;i great variety of ornamental designs, composed of 
Straight or curved lines, dots, circles, and human or grotesque faces. 
I pou the surfaces of their wooden dishes they frequently paint a ground 
Color of red. upon which, as well as upon those that are not colored, are 
drawn in black various well made patterns and figures representing 
totem animals, persona] markings, or mythological creatures. 


'Hi'- Eskimo also possi — considerable skill m map making. While 

traveling between the Yukon delta and the Kuskokwim, several men 
drew loi me excellent maps of the districts with which they were 

familiar, although probably they had never seen a map of any kind 

made by a \\ hite man. At other points to the northward of St Michael 

considerable skill was manifested by several persons in sketching out- 
lines of the coast, with its indentations ami projections. 

During one winter at 91 Michael a young Eskimo, about L'.iori'i years 
nI "e from the country of the Kaviak peninsula and remained 

about the station. While there he look -reat pleasure in looking at 


the numerous Illustrated papers we had, and would come day after day 
and borrow them; finally he came and asked me for a pencil and some 
paper, winch 1 supplied him. Some days later I chanced to go to his 
tent, and found him Lying prone upon the ground, with an old magazine 
before him, engaged in copying one of the pictures on the piece of 
paper which I had given him. 

When he saw me he seemed to be very much abashed and tried to 
conceal the drawing, but I took it up and was surprised at the ability 
he had shown. He had done so well that I asked him if he could 
draw me some pictures of Eskimo villages and scenes, lie agreed to 
try to do so. He was furnished with a supply of pencils and paper, 
and the result was a series of a dozen or more pictures which were 
remarkable, considering that they were made by a savage whose ideas 
were similar to those of his people, except wdiat he had learned by 
looking over the papers I had loaned him a short time before. 


The Eskimo also have an idea of keeping records or tallies of events, 
as was illustrated in a trading record kept by a Malemut during a 
winter trading trip which he made from St Michael to Kotzebue 
sound. It was kept for his own reference and without any suggestion 
from another. It was drawn on small fragments of brown paper and 
was a good example of picture writing; small, partly conventional out- 
lines were made to represent the various articles of trading goods, 
which were drawn beside a representation of the skins for which he 
had exchanged them. On the same paper he drew a route map of his 
journey, marking the villages at which he had stopped. 


A picture, image, paint, or color is called d'-lhifi-ulc by the Uhalit. 
Fine shades of color are not differentiated by these people, but they 
have names for most of the primary colors. 

Black is called tufi-u'-U; white, Jca-tugh-u-li; red, faitt-iy'-u-li ; brown 
or russet, kau-tg'-u-MJch-lu'-g'uJc; green, chun-ukh'-luk or chun-Ugf-u-li. 
Various other shades are distinguished as being colored like natural 
objects; gray or clay color is called M-gu'-yu-gnaV-ln-ulc (from Jci-gu'-yuJc, 
clay, and U , -lMn-4Je J color)j purple is hi ml' a'-lMn-tik; blue is ku-logh'-un 

ii'-UtJ n-i'tl;. 

Coloring matter is obtained from various sources. The dark reddish 
shade which is given to tanned sealskin is obtained by soaking the 
inner bark of the alder in urine for a day and washing the skin with 
tin- infusion. White is made from a white i clayey earth ; yellow and 
red from ocherous earths; red is also obtained from oxide of iron; 
black is made from plumbago, charcoal, or gunpowder, the two latter 
being mixed with blood ; green is obtained from oxide of copper. 


For tlic purpose of storing their fragments of paint the Eskimo use 
boxes somewhat similar in general character to those used for tools, 

save that they are very much smaller. These boxes also serve for keep- 
in g other small articles, such as fishhooks, spear- or arrow-points, ete. 

Figure 8, plate LXII, illustrates a small ivory paint box obtained 
from Norton sound by Mr L. M. Turner, It is about four inches long 
by an inch and a half wide, and with the exception of the cover is 
made from one piece. It is oblong, and has a sunken ledge at each 
end to receive the cover. On one end a human face is carved in relief, 
on the other end the mouth and nostrils of an animal, and on the 
bottom the figure of a seal. A small wooden box from St Michael 
number 33021) is oval in outline and represents the body of a seal. 
The cover is in the form of a smaller seal, of which the projecting head 
and neck serve as a handle for raising it. Another paint box. from 
the lower Yukon (figure 13, plate lxii), is cut from a single piece of 
wood and represents a salmon, the eyes, nostrils, mouth, gill openings, 
and lateral line being indicated by incised lines. A square cover tits 
like a stopper in the top and has a rawhide loop on its center for 
raising it. A box from Norton sound (figure 11, plate lxii) represents 
two >r;ils. one on the back of the other, with their heads turned to 
the left, the upper seal forming the cover. The eyes of both are rep- 
resented by inlaid beads, the nostrils and mouths are indicated by 
incised lines, and the fore-llippers of the larger seal are carved in 
relief on its sides. A somewhat similar box (ligure 15, plate LXII) was 
obtained on Nunivak island, but it represents the ligure of only a 
> i 1 1 _ i ■ ■ . 1 1 . 

A curious colored box (ligure L2, plate lxii) was obtained at ('ape 
Vancouver. It represents a seal with the mouth open and with the 
teeth in relief: the fore-llippers are carved in relief on the sides, the 
a mid Dostrils air Indicated by ivory pegs, ami various other pegs 
are inserted on the surface of t he body. The back- and fore-llippers are 
painted a dull bluish color; the sides are red, and the same color extends 
forward over the top of t he head to the muzzle; the chin, t hroat, lower 
surface o| the body, and (ait line of the flippers, with triangular spots 
to mark the ears, are black; the teeth are outlined in red. A similar 
box from th<- same locality ligure 17, plate LXII) represents a banded 

seal. The lower surface of the body and a huge triangular space from 
the crown to the Bhoulders are colored black; the remainder of the 
npper surface is alternately banded with \i-<\ ami black lines. 

A pant l.ux from Norton BOUnd figure '•>. plate lxii) is made from a 

dingle piece, and represen eal. The fore-flippers are in relief, the 

tail and himl flippers are carved tree, and the whiskers are represented 
by l it t If tun- of seal hair set in on each side of the muzzle. The cover, 
which i- of spoon shape, ate like a stopper and is provided with ;t 
projecting rod which serves as ;i thumb piece for raising it. 
a curiously shaped box from Big lake figure Hi, plate lxii is 



[ETH.AKH 18 

Fig. 58— Wooden paint box (about %). 

intended to represent the larva of some insect, it is cut from a single 

piece and has an oval, stopper-like cover, with a cord loop in the center 
for raising it. A series of alternately red and black grooves encircle 
the sides of the body; the crescentic mouth is incised, two beads rep- 
resent the nostrils, and two incised rings outline the eyes. The mouth, 

nostrils, and eyes are painted red, the 
rest of the face showing the natural 
color of the wood. 

A box from the lower Yukon (figure 
58) is flattened above and below, and 
is pear-shape around the sides, which 
are formed by bending a thin strip of 
wood, the ends being sewed together 
with spruce root ; the bottom is fast- 
ened on with wooden pegs, and a 
stopper-like cover, with a flaring rim, 
fits into the top, on which a series of small triangular and circular 
pieces of ivory are inlaid. The colors which originally ornamented 
this box have disappeared through long use. A box from Pastolik 
(number 33014) is somewhat similar to the preceding, but the cover is 
held in plaee by a long cord which is wound several times around the 
box and fastened over a peg which projects in front. 

A rudely oval box from the lower Yukon (figure 7, plate lxii) is 
cut from a single piece of wood, and has two compartments to each 
of which is fitted a stopper-like cover, one rounded in outline and the 
other with one end truncated; 
they are provided with small 
cord loops for lifting them. 
The body of the box has a 
groove extending entirely 
around the sides; another 
starting from it passes under 
the bottom to the opposite 

A handsome wooden box 
from Big lake (figure 59) is 
carved from a, single piece, 
and has a stopper-like cover. 
The bodyofthe box represents 
a seal witli the front flippers 
in relief and the eyes formed 
by white beads; the waists of 

the flippers are crossed by a small inlaid bar of ivory. At one end 
of the cover is a human face carved in relief, the month and eyes 
being represented by pieces of ivory neatly inlaid. This face and a 
circle about the eyes of the seal, as well as a long ridge connected with 

I'h, ".'.i Wooden painl l><>\ (aboul §) 


the flippers and the bottom of the box, are colored red. The rear end 
of the cover is blue, and the remainder of the box is black. 

An oval box from St Lawrence island (number 65267) represents the 
rude outline of a seal with a smaller one on its back, which forms the 
cover, fitting like a stopper. On the back of the cover are inlaid six 
halves of blue be, ids. A sinew cord projecting - several inches through 
the cover serves for raising it. The eyes of the larger seal are formed 
by round pieces of ivory, with some black substance filling a hole in 
the center of each to indicate the pupil. 

An oblong wooden box from Xunivak island (number 43878) is made 
of two pieces, the lower two-thirds forming the main part and the other 
the cover, which is held in place by two bone pegs inserted in the lower 
edge, at eacli end, and fitting into corresponding holes in the ends of 
the lower portion of the box. On the sides and ends of the box are inlaid 
square strips of ivory, about half an inch from the edge, and a number 
of small ivory pegs are set in the space between the inlaid strips. 


The manufacture of pottery from clay is widely spread among the 
Eskimo with whom 1 came in contact, but the women are the only 
potters. The process of making vessels from clay, as witnessed at St 
Michael, is as follows: 

A quantity of tough, blue clay is moistened and kneaded thoroughly 
with the hands until it assumes plasticity; (hen short, tough blades of a 
species of marsh grass and a small quantity of fine, black, volcanic sand 
from the beach are mixed with it. A round, flat layer of the prepared 
clay is worked out to form the bottom of the vessel, and about the edge 
ol i Ins a wall Is built up wit h a thin band of clay, carried around a num- 
ber of times until the desired height is reached. The fop is then 
smoothed, and is either left plain or slightly scalloped with the lingers. 
The sides of the vessels are usually left plain, but sometimes they 
.1 e ornamented with a series of simple, incised lines made with a stick. 

Several vessels obtained at St .Michael have the sides curving slightly 
until near tin* top. where they are somewhat const ri"t ed and the rim 

i- made slightly flaring. 

A Iter the shaping and the ornamentation of the vessel are completed, 
it is placed near the lire mil il it becomes dry; I hen a Are is built both on 
the inside and the outside, and it is baked for an hour or t wo with as 

gi eat ;i heal as can be obtained. 

In ;i summer camp at Hothain inlet a number of pots were seen. 

varying in capacity from two to three gallons. Several of the larger 
ouea bad the tops scalloped and were slightly constricted in outline 

below lie- inn. On the Bidea they were « una ineiit ed with short, paral- 
lel, borizoutfl 1 lines, Ite-i lining Dear the rim and forming a band extend 
Ing to the bottom. ;i^ shown in figure 60, from a sketch made at the 
tin i 



[Kill. ANN 18 

Despite the ability shown by the Eskimo of this region in carving 
bone and ivory, I saw only two efforts made at modeling in clay beyond 
the manufacture of* pots and lamps. These were both rude clay dolls. 
obtained at a village on the lower Yukon. 

A specimen of earthenware from St Michael (number 43068) is 9 inches 
high by 10 1 , wide. Around the inside, near the top, occurs a series of 
small incised dots: on the inside of the rim are five parallel incised 
grooves, just below a broader groove which borders the edge; the 
upper surface of the edge is marked also with a shallow groove. 
Another vessel from the same locality has three lines of dots around its 
outer border, near the rim, with two sets of double parallel grooves, 
and just inside the slightly flaring rim are four roughly made grooves. 
From St Lawrence island were obtained some small clay vessels 
which were used for suspending over ignited lamj)s. t One of these (fig- 
ure 13, plate xxviii) is 4£ inches long, 0} wide, and 1£ in depth. It 
is quadrate in outline, with rounded corners, each of which is provided 

with two holes through which are passed 
strips of whalebone by which it was. sus- 
pended. A similar vessel from the same 
locality (number GoZM)) measures 6 inches 
in length, 4f in. width, and 2 inches in 
depth; it has a small lug at each corner, 
near the upper edge, pierced for the recep- 
tion of the cord by which it was suspended 
over the lamp. Another of these small pots 
from the same place (figure 1, plate xxviii) 
is oval at the ends, with the sides nearly 
parallel. It measures 8J inches in length 
by 3 broad, and a little over au inch in 
depth. Another specimen from the same island (number 62547) is fash- 
ioned like the preceding three vessels, all of which are too small for use 
in cooking food, and probably served for the purpose of trying out seal 
oil for use in the lamps. 

Fig. 80 — Clay ]»"t from Bothara inlet. 


Prom the shore of Norton sound to the Kuskokwim tne women are 
expert in weaving grass mats, baskets, and bags, (irass mats are used 
on the sleeping benches and for wrapping around bedding. They are 
ased also as sails for kaiaks, and formerly were utilized as sails for 
umiaks. They now frequently serve as curtains to partition off the 
corners of a room or a sleeping platform. Small mats are placed also 
in the manholes of kaiaks to serve as seats. The bags are used lor 
storing fish, berries, and other food supplies, or for clothing. Smaller 
bags and baskets are made for coutaiuing small articles used in the 

At Ohukwuk, on the lower Yukon, I saw a woman making one of 



I I 


L I I ■ I I ,) 






these mats and watched the process she employed. A set of three or 

four straws were twisted and the ends turned in, forming a strand, a 
number of which were arranged side by side with their ends fastened 
along a stick, forming one end of the mat and hanging down for the 
warp. Another strand was then used as a woof. By a deft twist of 
the fingers it was carried from one side to the other, passing above and 
below the strands of the warp; then the woof strand was passed 
around the outer strand of the warp and turned to repeat the operation. 
The strands were made continuous by adding' straws as necessary, and 
with each motion the strands were twisted a little so as to keep them 
firmly together. By this simple method a variety of patterns are 

Figure 15, plate lxxiv, illustrates a common sleeping mat of the 
kind used by the Eskimo from Kotzebue sound to the Kuskokwim. It 
was obtained on Norton sound. The size of these mats varies; the 
example shown is 4 feet long by3| wide, but they are sometimes made 
twice this size. 

A toy grass mat. made for use with a doll (figure 8, plate LXXIV), is 
also from Norton sound. It is woven in the same way as the larger 
mats, except that the warp is twisted at intervals and the strands 
arc crossed, thus producing small quadrate openings in the pattern. 

In making grass bags, they are started from a point at tin 4 bottom, 
where the strands of the warp, consisting of two or more grass steins, 
are fastened together and extend vertically downward. The woof is 
formed by a double strand of grass which is twisted about itself with 
the strands of the warp inclosed in the turns; both are continually 
twisted as the weaving progresses. In coarsely made bags, the strands 
of the woof are spaced from an inch to two inches apart, and those of 
the warp at intervals of from a quarter to half an inch. These bags 
have a conical bottom, which slopes from the center to the sides. At 
the mouth the ends of the war]) are braided to form a continuous edge. 

Figure 1 1, plate LXXIV, represents one of these loosely woven bags 
from Norton sound. These bags, when used for storing fish, sometimes 
Contain from 50 to KM) pounds, which is frozen into a solid mass and 
packed away in Storehouses for use during the months when fresh food 
Can not be obtained. The content s become so thoroughly frozen by the 
intense cold of winter that when required for use the mass has to be 

separated by ase ol wedges and mauls. 

A DOther bag from Norton sound (figure 1 1, plate i.\ \ I \ is similar to 
the preceding, except thai the bottom has a long, narrow base instead 
of ending in a point. Along the mOUtb the strands of the warp are 
brought together in little braids about an inch a ml a hal f in length, 
Spaced at intervals of about half an inch and merged into a thick, 

braided border, which forms the rim. The weaving is done as in the 
specimen last described, except that the warp consists of two grass 

Stems, extending down the sides to the bottom, without being twisted. 


The woof is twisted, bul the strands arc spaced only a little over a 
quarter of an inch apart. 

A bag obtained at 8t Michael by Mr L. M. Turner (figure 9, plate 
i.\\i\ is somewhat similar to the preceding specimens, but the warp 
is divided alternately by the twisted strands of the woof, forming a 
sli . htly zigzag pattern from near the mouth to the edge of the bottom. 
where the warp extends again in parallel lines. 

A closely woven bag, intended to bold clothing (figure 13, plate 
LXXIV . is from the lower Kuskokwim. It is made like the example 
from St .Michael, except that the solid weaving of the sides extends to 
the braid at the mouth. The warp extends up and down the sides, as 
usual, and the strands of the woof are woven close together, forming 
a compact, thick texture. Several black lines of varying width extend 
around the bag, and are made by interweaving strands of blackened 
sinew cord. This pattern and another of ornamental black bands are 
made in the country between Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers and thence 
southward to Bristol bay. One specimen from the latter locality, in 
addition to the black lines, has three broken bands of russet brown, 
made by drawing small strips of brown leather through the warp. 
From the lower Kuskokwim was obtained also a grass bag, 11 inches 
in height and L3 inches across the bottom, woven in the same manner 
as the last specimen. It is circular in shape around the sides and 
widest near the bottom, narrowing gradually to near the top, which is 
suddenly constricted to an opening five inches in diameter. 

The people of the lower Y^ukon and thence northward to Kotzebue 
sound make various sizes of grass baskets of a coil pattern. A strand 
of grass is laid in a coil forming the warp, the woof is then woven in 
by interlacing grass stems, and the coil is continued until the flat bot- 
tom is completed. The coils are then superimposed one upon the other 
until the basket is built up to the top, where it is narrowed in to form 
a circular, oval, or square opening. Frequently the coil is commenced 
on the bottom around a vacant space, from an inch to three inches in 
diameter, into which is sewed a piece of rawhide, 'fhe rim at the top 
has the grass brought over and neatly turned in on the under side, 
forming a smoothly finished vi\^e. 

One of these baskets (number 18139), used for storing clothing and 
various small articles, which was obtained from the mouth of the Yukon, 
measures LOJ inches in height by 13 inches in width, with an opening 
at the top LO inches in diameter. A basket of this description from 
Kushunuk figure 7. plate lxxiv) is roughly quadrate in outline, with 
rounded corners; it has the bottom woven in the same manner as those 
of the bags which have been described. Another basket, obtained on 
Putuam river by Lieutenant Stoney (figure LO, plate lxxiv), has a Hat 
bottom, with a Ion-, oval piece of rawhide in the center: the sides 
round gradually upward to an oval opening. 

A l>;i>ket from St .Michael (figure 1, plate LXXIV) has a Hat bottom, 











N i * >n 1 1 as k ETS — S I - E I >s •_>( )5 

with a cfiitcr made from a piece of rawhide; fche sides, built up of coils, 
narrow inward to the top, where they are suddenly constricted to a 
rolled rim surrounding the circular. opening. The basket from t he lower 
Yukon shown in figure 1. plate lwiv, has a tlat bottom with a cir- 
cular piece of rawhide in the center. A double strand of grass is twisted 
into the woof between each of the coils on the sides, producing a 
doubly ridged surface. The! top has a slight rim around the central 

A toy basket from the lower Yukon (figure f>, plate lxxiv) has the 
warp varied at intervals with grass cords passed around the surface, 
about a third of an inch apart, in three parallel rows. These cords 
consist of three strands, only one of which is woven into the warp, 
leaving the remainder in relief on the surface. 

Figure (>, plate lxxiv, shows a basket from St Michael. In this 
specimen the coil starts from the center of the Hat bottom; the sides 
slope slightly outward and end at the upper edge without being con- 
stricted, forming a dish shape. Another basket from the coast of 
Norton sound has the usual Hat bottom: the sides slope slightly out- 
ward, swell around the middle, and then are drawn in again toward 
the top to form a rim around the opening. 

On the lower Yukon coiled baskets are made of spruce roots, which 
form very strong, rigid walls. They vary in form, but all have Hat 
bottoms. A basket of this* kind, from that locality (figure 2, plate 
LXXIV), is roughly quadrate in form, with rounded corners. The sides 
are nearly straight, but are constricted abruptly above, forming a 
ne. -k like rim about an inch high, which surrounds the square opening 
in the top. Another specimen, from Sledge island (figure 3, plate 
ia my. is round in shape, with the sides slight ly curved and constricted 
above to a slightly flaring tip around the opening. 

The most elaborately finished specimen procured is shown in figure 
12, plate LXXIV. This was obtained from the lower Yukon district. 
It is round in shape, with slightly curving sides, which are constricted 
abruptly to the neck of a -lightly flaring rim. It has a flattened 
conical top, which has two small sinew hinges, and is fastened in front 
with sinew COrds; a loop of the same material on the top forms the 


A ••housewife"' of woven graSS, obtained on the lower Yukon, i< 

woven with open-work similar to the bags which have been described. 


The Alaskan Eskimo of the mainland and on ;ill the islands aboul 
Bering strait, includii Lawrence island, use dogs ami sleds for 

winter traveling. Plate lxxv, from a photograph taken ;it SI Michael, 
represents ;i Malemul family read^ t<» start on a journey. <>n the 


American coast and adjacent islands sleds from '.) to n> feet in Length 
are built Btrongly of drill wood. Their r aimers are from 2 to 3 inches 
broad and from <J to 7 inches high. They are straight nearly to the 
front, where they curve up regularly to the level of the bed. Along 
the sides four or live stanchions are mortised into the upper edge of 
the runners and project upward about 2J to < } > feet; the ends of bow- 
shape pieces of wood are also mortised in the top of the runners, and 
both these and the stanchions are fastened with wooden pins. Tbese 
bow-shape pieces curve upward and inward about five inches above the 
tops of the runners, forming the supports on which rests the bed of 
the sled, which is from 16 to 2± inches in width, and is formed of a kind 
of latticework. A erescentic or bow-shape pieee of wood is fastened 
across the front, from which two long, thin, wooden slats run length- 
wise to the rear, where they rest on the upcurved bows, to which they 
are lashed. Across these pieces a series of thin wooden slats are lashed 
by rawhide cords passed through holes and corresponding holes in the 
longitudinal slats, which extend out to the rear line of the runners and 
have a long strip of wood lashed along each side. A long wooden rod 
is fastened firmly to the upturned point of the runner on each side and 
extends to the rear of the sled, resting on the tops of the stanchions, 
forming a rail. A stout rawhide cord is passed through holes in the 
top of the stanchions and wound around the rail, holding it firmly in 
position. The rail usually projects a few inches beyond the last stan- 
chion on each side, forming handles for guiding the sled. Some sleds 
also have a crosspiece resting on the last stanchions at the rear. On 
the sides a stout rawhide cord is fastened at the end of the rail and is 
passed down around the side bar of the bed and back to the rail again 
in a diagonal or zigzag pattern along the entire length, thus forming 
a netting, which prevents articles from falling from the sled. Inside 
of this netting it is customary to place a large sheet of canvas or of 
skins sewed together to form a covering for the load. The flaps are 
folded over the top, and a rawhide lashing from rail to rail holds the 
load firmly in place. From five to nine dogs are attached to large sleds 
of this character, and a considerable load can be hauled on them. With 
seven dogs it is customary, on trips along the coast of Norton sound, to 
haul a load weighing 300 or 400 pounds. 

Smaller sheds, from 5 to feet in length, are used about the villages 
or for short journeys. 

Figure Hi, plate LXXVI, represents a model of one of these sleds, 
which was obtained at the head of Norton sound. A simpler form of 
sled also is used by the people along the coast from Kot/ebue sound 
to the Yukon mouth. The runners are of the same fashion as those 
last described, to which a stout crosspiece is fastened on the inside of 
the upturned <-\n\>, and i wo or three short stanchions. <; to s inches in 
height, are mortised into their upper edge. A rail on each side is 
lashed against the crosspiece and extends backward, testing npon and 

- s 



lashed to the tops of the stanchions to form rails. Crosspieces con- 
nect the sides of the sled between the stanchions. 

These sleds are very light, weighing only from 15 to 20 pounds. 
They are used for short hunting or ashing trips, and are hauled usually 

by the hunter himself. In the spring they are used by hunters to haul 
their kaiaks on the sea ice to open water, or to the cracks that are 
opening. When such a break is reached, the hunter places the sled on 
the top of the kaiak, back of the manhole, and paddles across to the 
other side, where he disembarks, places the kaiak on the sled, and 
resumes his journey. In this manner these people make long trips 
over the sea ice in search of seals and walrus. 

Fio. 61— Kaviak hunter with li:m<l Bled. 

When ;i hunter wishes to make a trip to the mountains in winter in 
search of reindeer and does not care to take dogs with him. he fre- 
quently loads his provisions, bedding, and gun on one of these light 
Bleds and drags it to the camping place. 
The accompanying illustration figure 6] , from a photograph, rep 
eute a deer hunter Leaving St Michael with one <>i these sleds for 

a winter limit in the mountains backward from tlie coast. 

Both of the styles of sleds described are in common use over nearly 
the rutin ; visited. 

The runnel- <»| the linger -led- are commonly shod with thin, flat 
Btrips of bone sawed from the jawbone of a whale -of the same 

width .i- the runner, and fastened on with wooden \n-^>; the smaller 



1 1:1 11. aw. 18 

sleds commonly have the runners aushod, although sometimes strips of 
boue are used for tliat purpose. 

Figure 62 illustrates ;i sled from Plover hay. Siberia, which is the 
style u-«-'l <>ii st Lawrence island and the adjacent Siberian coast. It 
i- modeled alter those used by the Ghukchi of eastern Siberia. The 
runners are made from pieces of driftwood; they are suboval in cross 
section, about 2 inches wide by 1 \ thick, and taper toward the front. 
To the front ends of the runners is lashed an overlapping piece of wood 
of the same width and about half an inch thick, which extends down 
the under side of the runner and is curved up over the back, reaching 
midway to the rear of the sled, where it is lashed to the end of a tlat 
piece of wood which serves as the rail. Bowed pieces of reindeer 
horn are axed in the tops of the runners, to which they are fastened by 
whalebone or rawhide lashings. Two tiattened sticks extend from the 
top of the first bow to a little beyond the last one, to form a resting- 
place for the bed of the sled and to which it is lashed. Crosspieces 
arc then lashed to these sticks. On each side a brace is formed by a 
rod of wood, which is .lashed against the side of the stringer and to the 

Kin. 62 -Sled used on the Siberian shore of Bering strait. 

runner 15 inches in front of the rear end and extending obliquely for- 
ward under the bed. At the rear end a bow of wood is lashed to the 
last deerhorn bow under the bottom, forming a curve about 10 inches 
high above the bed; from each side of this, near the top, another bow 
extends forward and downward to the base of the second deerhorn 
bow. where it is firmly lashed. To serve as a shoe, a thin, flat piece of 
wood Is fastened to the lower side of each runner by rawhide lashings 
passed through the runner and through holes in the shoe, which are 
countersunk, SO that the friction against the surface of the snow or 
n><ks shall not cut the cord. The load is fastened on these sleds with 
hide eoids, and the attachment for hauling is made to the forward 
pari of the runners and the fust crosspiece. 

This form of sled is used with dogs by the Eskimo and sedentary 
Chukchi of the Asiatic coast, and with reindeer by the reindeer using 
< 'hukchl of thai region. 

Figure I, plate lwvi, represents another style of sled, from St 
Law pence island, used for transporting to the village the meat and blub- 
ber from the place where the game LS killed. It is about l."> inches in 

length aud the same in width, and has two stout, walrus- tusk run- 

I ' ■' inches lon.u, an inch and a half deep, and t wo t birds of an 





inch wide; they have a flange-like projectiug edge along the outside 

Of the upper border, and arc held together by three rounded wooden 
crossbars 11 inches long, with two grooves in their ends, held in posi- 
tion by strong rawhide lashings that pass through two holes in the 
apper edges of the runners. The front ends of the runners are curved 
upward and have a large slot in them for attaching the cord by which 
the sled is hauled. In the rear end of each runner are two holes, in 
which are inserted stout rawhide loops, and a hole Just in front of the 
ond crossbar serves for another rawhide loop: these loops receive 
the lashings with which the load is held in place. 


The ordinary style of harness used for dogs is made of rawhide 
straps. It consists of a collar with a strap extending down from the 
back of the neck to the middle of the back, where it meets a strap 
which passes from the lower part of the collar between the fore-legs 
and up on each side over the ribs, to be attached to the back strap; at 
this point is made fast the leading line, which is from three to live 
feet long, and is attached either directly to the front of the sled or to a 
single straight leading line fastened to the sled and extending forward 
to a distance sufficient for the attachment of all the dogs belonging to 
the team. When the team consists of more than three dogs, they are 
attached to the main leading line in pairs, with the most intelligent 
dog in front as a leader. 

When the load is very heavy, or the dogs are too numerous to work 
well in a single team, they may be attached to the forward stanchions, 
sometimes one or even two on each side, in addition to the team in 

On the islands of Bering strait and along the Asiatic coast, long- 
handle whips are used for driving dogs; specimens of these were 
obtained on Sledge, King, and St Lawrence islands. The handles of 
the whips from King and St Lawrence islands are round rods of spruce, 

a little over forty inches in length, and have rawhide lushes fastened 
to t hem with sinew cord. 

One of these whips from St Lawrence island figure L5, plate lxxvi) 

has a lush made from ;i pi ere ol ' seal>kin, wit h t he edges sewed togel her, 

forming a round cord, with a slender strip of sealskin at the tip for a 
cracker. On the handle is a ferule of walrus ivory, rudely represent 
in- the head of a white bear; the end of the handle is wedged into t he 
ferule, which projects spur like on one side. 

A King island whip (number r>H>7) has a stout lash made of a piece 
of walrus hide, with a small rawhide cracker ;it the tip. At the but! 
of the handle is a round ivorj ferule, sloping to ;i flaring rim, which 
extend- around it. The ase of these whips also extends to the main- 
land of the American coast at Cape Princeof Wales, and thence north 
ward t<> Point Bope on the Arctic coast. 
18 eth 11 


The Eskimo to the southward of Bering strait aseshoii handle whips 
with n long lash, generally of braided rawhide, largest just in front of 
its attachment to the handle and tapering to a point at the end, which 
is provided with a sealskin cracker. 

The ferules used on the handles of these whips vary considerably 
in form, as is shown in the specimens illustrated. One example, from 
St Lawrence island (figure 7, plate lxxvi), is slightly spoon-shape in 
outline, projecting spur-like on one side. A round ferule from the 
Diomede islands (figure 11. plate LXXVI) is of walrus ivory and has a 
lobe like projection on each side. Figure 9, plate lxxvi. show's a 
round ivory ferule from Sledge island, with a carving representing the 
head of a white bear projecting on one side. Another, from Point 
Eope figure 10. plate lxxvi), is a small ivory specimen with a flattened 
spur on one side. 

In many localities I found in use swivels made of bone, deerhorn, 
ivory, or wood, which were fastened to the cords by which dogs were 
attached to stakes or other objects, to prevent the cords from becoming- 
twisted by the movement of the animals. 

Figure 13, plate lxxvi, represents a large wooden swivel of this 
kind from Eazbinsky, on the lower Yukon. It consists of a round 
wooden rod, deeply notched on one side, with a hole pierced through 
the head formed by the notch, through which is inserted a stout 
wooden rod with a large head. In the opposite ends of the two rods 
are holes in which cords are fastened. 

Swivels exactly similar in design, but made of deerhorn or ivory, 
were obtained on the Diomede islands, St Laurence island, on Kowak 
river at the head of Kotzebue sound, and at Point Belcher on the 
Arctic coast. Figure 2, plate lxxvi, represents one of these ivory 
swivels from the Diomede islands. 

Another style of swivel used similarly to the preceding, as well as on 
dog harness to prevent the lines from becoming twisted, is made by 
inserting a large-head rod of deerhorn or ivory in a hole in the center 
of a square or oval block of the same material, around the borders of 
which are four holes, to which are attached cords with their ends 
fastened together a few inches beyond their starting points. Figure 
12, plate LXXVI, shows such a swivel from (Jnaiaklit, made of deer- 
horn. with a square block on the head. Another swivel of this char- 
acter, with an oval head (figure (>, plate lxxvi), is from Gape Nome. 
A similar specimen was obtained on Ivowak river. 

A deerhorn swivel from the lower Yukon (figure 8, plate lxxvi) has 
a head roughly triangular in shape, with two holes for the lines; through 
another hole in the center is ;i deerhorn rod with a large head and with 
a hole ;it the small end for the attachment of n cord. 

In addition to swivels, small, double eve blocks are also commonly 
used on dog harness; these are cut from bone, deerhorn, or ivory, and 
have holes passing through them in two directions. Blocks of this 


character were obtained from various localities between Norton sound 
and Point Hope, on the Arctic coast, and thence across Bering strait to 
the coast of Siberia, and on St Lawrence island. 

Figure 1, plate lxxvi, illustrates a small ivory block of this charac- 
ter, from St Lawrence island. It is somewhat pear-shape, with a hole 
through one end, surrounded by a lip or bead-like elevation; this hole 
and a groove on each side are intended to receive a permanent cord. In 
a direction transverse to this hole is a larger one, through which the 
coid is passed in making a temporary attachment. Another of these 
blocks from St Lawrence island (figure 5, plate LXXVI) has an incised 
groove, forming a neck, between the two holes. 

Some of these blocks are very rudely shaped, as is shown in figure •'>, 
plate LXXVI, from St Lawrence island. This example is cut without 
any attempt to round oft' the corners. Another very plainly made 
specimen was obtained at Unalaklit. 

In addition to the use of dogs for hauling sleds, it is a common prac- 
tice among the Eskimo when traveling in summer to put their dogs on 
shore and harness them to a long line attached to the bow of the boat, 
one of the party remaining on shore to drive the dogs, which travel 
along the beach and pull the boat. By the employment of this means 
much labor is saved. 


Prom Nunivak island southward beyond the mouth of Kuskokwim 
river the people are in the habit of using breast yokes when carrying 
heavy burdens on their backs; they are made of flattened pieces of 
wood, crescentic in form, with a hole at one end through which a cord 
i- fastened; at the other end is a knob-like enlargement, with a notch 
on its outer side, over which a loop on the end of the cord can be 

Figure L4, plate lxxvi, illustrates one of these breast yokes, which 
was obtained on Nunivak island by Doctor YY. Il.Dall. It consists of a 
llattened board, slightly crescentic in shape, about three inches wide 
and half an inch in thickness. On the curved front is carved in relief a 
human face, the ayo^, mouth, and nostrils being incised, as are also 
four parallel *lines extending downward from near the corners of the 
month, to represent tattooing; across the front each way from the face 

18 :i broad groove which narrows to a point at the outer end, along each 

edge of which are set sis small reindeer teeth. The face, grooves, and 
t i|»> of the soke are painted red ; the remainder of the fronl and upper 

bonier is black. Doctor Dall obtained another yoke of this kind on 
Nuniv;ik island: it has a beveled front and a slight ridge along the ecu 

!«r. which is narrow in the middle but broader toward the ends. 
a yoke from Chalitmnl (number 36023) is constricted in the middle 

and expanded into a wing like form toward each end. 



[ i.: ii. a.w. L8 


Among the western Eskimo snowshoes are in common use. They 
are of the greatest service for traveling, both over the sea, ice and on 

land, and are used by both men and women, but more largely of course 
by men. as their more active life necessitates almost constant travel 
while hunting, visiting netting places on the ice, or traps on the shore. 
For traveling on land, where the snow is softer and deeper than on the 
sea ice, snowshoes with larger and liner netting are used. Figure <>3 
represents snowshoes, used for land travel, which were obtained near 
the head of Norton hay. They are made of two pieces of wood, spliced 
in front where they curve upward at the toe, held together by means of 

Fig. 63— Snowshoes from Norton bay. 

two crossbars in the middle, before and behind the foot-rest. The net- 
ting in front of the first crossbar is hexagonal in shape, and in the rear 
consists of ten cords passing through holes in the hindmost crossbar 
and converging to the thong that binds the frame together at the heel. 
Tin- fo<»t rest is on a stout netting made of widely spaced crosscords 
attached to the framework on the sides as well as to the crossbars. 

This is the general style of snowshoe worn about the shores of 
Norton sound and thence southward to the Knskokwim, and up lower 
Yukon and Knskokwim rivers. Various forms of coarsely netted 
snowshoes are wsvd on the sea ice at different points along the coast. 

Figure 04 shows the style of snowshoe used at Gape Darby. The 
frame is in two pieces, rounded in cross section and tapering' in front, 
where they are curved strongly upward at the ends which overlap and 




arc Lashed together. At the lieel the rim tapers backward to a point 
and is held together by a rawhide lashing; the toe netting is replaced 
by a cord passing from side to side and two other crosscords which 
pa>s diagonally from near the point of the upturned toe to holes in 
the front of the crossbar. The foot-rest is made of a strong cord of 
rawhide passed through holes in the side of the frame and over the 

Fig. 64— Snowshoc from Cape Darby. 

front and rear of the crossbars, forming a pattern somewhat similar to 
that in the shoes used on laud. 

A roughly oval shoe from Icy cape (figure 65) is rudely made and 
pointed at the heel. The spaces in front and behind the crossbars are 
tilled with line netting of babiche, which is fastened through holes in 
the rim. The foot-rest is made by rectangular netting fastened through 
holes m the sides of the framework and over the front and rear cross- 
bars. These shoes are intermediate in character between those used 
on land and the ones intended for service on sea ice. 

A short, stoutly made shoe from St Lawrence island (figure 00) has 
the framework oblong in cross section, with the corners slightly 
rounded and turned upward abruptly at the toe, the curve commenc- 

Fi<;. 65 -Snowshoe from Ccycape. 

ing immediately in front of the first crossbar. The ends of the side- 
pieces meet ;it the toe and are held (irmly together by a lashing of 

Whalebone passed through holes. The rear crossbar is close to the 
heel, which is held in position by the end of the cord used for the foot- 

rest, which passes through a hole on one side, and, crossing the trian- 
gular space behind the hist crossbar, ie tied through a hole in the 




opposite side. The space between the front and rear crossbars occupies 

almost the entire area of the shoe and is crossed by a stout netting of 
rectangular pattern, with some of the strands passing diagonally, pro- 
ducing a combination of patterns. These coarsely netted shoes are 
intended for use upon frozen snow or on the rough surface of the sea 
ice, for which purposes they are \v\y serviceable, as the masses of 
broken ice have many small openings large enough for the foot to pass 
through, which reuder traveling very difficult without such assistance. 
By aid of these shoes hunters are enabled to travel safely and fre- 
quently to pass over weak places where newly made ice would not 
otherwise support them. On the Asiatic coast the Eskimo use snow- 
shoes similar to those from St Lawrence island that have been 
described, and others rather more elongated but similar in general 

Fig. 66— Snow.slioe from St Lawrence island. 


When traveling or hunting on the sea ice there is great risk of 
breaking through thin places which have been concealed by drifted 
snow. To guard against this danger the people are in the habit, at 
certain seasons, of carrying a stout wooden 'staff with a strong ivory 
or bone point, two or three inches long, inserted in the lower end and 
fastened by a strong wrapping of sinew. Around the base of this 
point is fastened a hoop of bone or deerhorn, hung to the staff by a 
coid passed through a hole above the point. A ring of boue or horn 
surrounds the base of the point, and between it and the outer hoop 
strong cross lashings of rawhide form a sort of netting. 

In walking over suspicious places in the ice the traveler plants the 
Staff solidly before him previous to taking a step; if the ice be thin the 
point of the staff goes through, but the hoop comes in contact with a- 
broader Burface and prevents the si nil from sinking farther. In this way 

\ - N 



the weight of the man is distributed over three points, and thus he 
is often enabled to pass over places which 
otherwise would not support him. 

These start's are also used in summer travel. 
During this season the tundras are covered 
with tussocks and soft beds of sphagnum, 
which Tender walking excessively laborious 
and difficult. By use of the staff the traveler 
is enabled to walk more safely, and by lessen- 
ing the weight on his feet, does not sink so 
deeply in spongy patches of moss or in seini- 
niarshy ground. 

Figure 67 illustrates one of these ice stall's 
from Cape ^ome. 

An ice staff from Point Barrow (figure 68) 
consists of a round wooden staff nearly live 
feet in length, the lower end being tipped 
with a cap of ivory, held in place by a pin 
through its base. Through the upper end is 
a hole, in which is a sealskin loop for hang- 
ing the staff on the wrist. 


Ice creepers are used to prevent the feet 
from slipping while traveling over the sea 
ice or frozen snow in spring. In some of 
them the central groove is deepened to form 
an oblong slot, piercing through, and on 
others the points are formed in groups near 
each end. 

Figure 69 (3) represents a pair of ice creep- 
ers from < 'ape Darby, consisting of small, Hat, 
oblong ivory rods .'U inches in length, with 
the upper surface slightly rounded and the 
lower side having a deep, Hat groove extend- 
ing lengthwise along the middle, leaving 
two high ridges that are crossed by deep 
grooves, producing n row of pyramidal points 
along .each edge. The ends arc provided 
with two holes, in which are fastened the 
rawhide cords by which the creepers are 

attached to the sole of the boot. 

A paii- of ice creepers from Si Lawrence island (figure 69, 5) 
are in the form of Hat. ivory bars, about I inches long and an Fio.68 roe 
inch wide. Eight small holes are drilled into the lower sur 

face, in which are inserted small, round-pointed iron spikes; there are 



|IM II. ANN. 18 

two holes through each end for the cords by which they arc fastened 
to the foot. Figure 69(1 and La) show the upper and lower surfaces 
of a broader and heavier pair of ice creepers from the Diomede islands. 
They are turned up at the ends to retain them in place on the foot, and 
have four rows of pyramidal points along the lower surface. 

Figure <>*> (2 and 4), from St Michael and St Lawrence island, respec- 
tively, represent ivory creepers with a row of pyramidal points along 
each side. Through the middle, between the rows of points, is cut a 

Fig. 69 — Ico creepers (J). 

long, rectangular slot, and in the ends of* each are holes for the cords 
by which they are fastened on. 

Other creepers of similar style were obtained from Plover bay on 
the Siberian shore. 


The Eskimo of the Alaskan coast, the islands of Bering strait, and 
the coast of Siberia use large open boats, varying in length from fifteen 
to forty feet, and made by covering a wooden framework with seal- 
skin or walrus-hide. These are the umiaks so well known from their 
use by Greenlanders. Among the people from the head of Norton 
sound and northward to Point Barrow, these boats are known as 
a' uii'-a I: ; among the CJnalit of the eastern shore of Norton sound and 
southward they are (tailed <nV-)ji(h\ They vary in size according to 
locality or to the purpose for which they are made, and their pattern 
also varies slightly with the locality. Originally they were propelled 
by paddles, after which slender-blade oars were adopted in some locali- 
ties, and t hese are still used. 

Although oars are in common use, yet it. is not tare to see umiaks 
propelled wholly by paddles, as was done in ancient times. Paddles 











were seen in nse at Cape Prince of Wales on Bering strait, and at 
points northward and southward from that locality. 

The oars are held in place usually by means of a rawhide lashing 
made fast, on the inside of the boat, to the framework. The steering 
is always done with a large, broad-blade paddle. 

In ancient times sails sometimes were improvised by sewing together 
grass mats and putting them up between two long sticks, which were 
fastened to the framework of the umiak and stayed by means of cords 
so as to extend upward and outward in V-shape form, one from each 
side of the boat. Later, after the arrival of white men, a single upright 
mast with stays and with blocks made from bone or ivory, were adopted 
in imitation of the rigging used on the ships of the strangers. 

Sails were next made from the skins of reindeer or other animals, 
sewed to a proper size and shape and fastened to a yard, which was 
raised or lowered by tackle made of walrus-hide cord passed through 
an ivory or bone block or through a hole in the upper end of the mast. 
Some sails are still made of old deerskins or light sealskins sewed 
together, but many are seen of light canvas or drilling obtained from 
vessels or through fur traders. 

The 1 framework of these boats is formed of neatly shaped pieces cut 
from driftwood and lashed together with rawhide cords, which are 
passed through holes drilled in the wood, as shown in the model, from 
St Michael, illustrated in plate lxxvii, 38. The covering is of heavy 
sealskin or walrus-hide, tanned to remove the hair, sewed into proper 
shape, and drawn over the framework. In the edges many little slits 
are cut, through which is passed the cord which lashes it to the frame- 
work on the inside under the rail. After it is in place the lashings are 
drawn tightly and permitted to dry; as it contracts the cover becomes 
as tight as a drumhead, after which several coats of seal oil are 
applied to the outside ami allowed to become thoroughly dry, when 
the cover becomes impervious to water for a week or ten days, at the 
expiration of which time it becomes water-soaked and it is then neces- 
sary to haul up the boat on the shore and, after allowing it to dry, to 
give it another coating of oil, otherwise the skins would rot. Travel- 
ing is done by day, and at night the boats are hauled up on the beach 
and turned bottom up or upon one edge, so that they may dry during 
the night. When treated carefully in the manner described, the cover 
of an umiak will last for several years. 

In comparison with the Norton sound nmiaks, I noticed that the 
boats \[^{i<\ by the people of Bering strait have somewhat less sheer to 
the sides and are provided with flaps of sealskin about two feet wide, 
which are attached along the rail and folded down inside tin 1 boat in 
fair weather; in rough weather these flaps are raised and held in place 
by stout sticks Lashed to the framework around the sides and their 

ends thrust into a Series of holes or slots along the upper edge of the 

tlap. In addition to these, the people of Bering strait carry sealskin 


floats, which arc inflated and lashed under the rail on the outside, to 
prevent the boat from swamping. 

Sometimes umiaks are driven out to sea by storms and their occu- 
pants arc unable to regain the shore, when the dashing- spray and the 

waves soak the cover and the rawhide lashings of the frame until they 
relax and the boat collapses, drowning all on board. 

From Kot/.ebue sound northward the umiaks are very similar to 
those of Norton sound, but are slightly narrower. At the former place, 
during the summer of 1881, I saw a number of umiaks, each of which 
had a figure of a man painted roughly in black close to the bow. 
The umiaks of the Yukon and adjacent country, and thence southward, 
are commonly ornamented, on the middle of each side, with the fig- 
ure of a mythic, alligator like animal called pal-rai'-yuk; the head, with 
open mouth aud projecting tongue, is close to the bow, while the tail 
reaches the stern (figure 156). 

The umiaks seen among the Eskimo south of East.cape, Siberia, at 
Mechigme bay, St Lawrence island, and Plover bay, were all very much 
narrower than those of Norton sound, and with very little sheer to 
their sides; some of them seemed to have almost perpendicular sides. 
All of the umiaks used, in the latter region are provided with a set of 
sealskin floats to fasten along the outside below the rail in rough 
weather, which render the boats very buoyant, and but little water can 
be shipped even in very stormy weather. With their boats fitted in 
this manner with inflated floats, these people sail fearlessly along their 
stormy coasts and cross back and forth between the mainland and St 
Lawrence island. 

The oars used in the umiaks of the American mainland are kept in 
position by means of rawhide stays, which are attached firmly to a 
notch in the part of the oar which rests on the rail; the stays extend 
fore-and-aft a short distance and are fastened to the side pieces on the 
inside below T the rail. The steering is performed with a broad-blade pad- 
dle. ( )n St Lawrence island oarlocks have been copied from those seen 
on whaling vessels. An example of these (figure 34, plate lxxviii), 
made of oak, is provided with a pin to fit in a hole in the rail of the 
bo it. and its upper portion is pierced to receive the oar. 

Figure H). plate lxxviii, represents an ivory block, from Sledge 
island, used for the rigging of an umiak. Another form of these blocks, 
from the same place, is shown in figure 20 of the same plate. A hand- 
somely made little block from Cape Nome (figure 21, plate lxxviii), has 
the head of a seal carved in relief on the lower side. 

A smaller boat or canoe, called kai'ak, is also used along the Ameri- 
can coast and the adjacent islands; but I have never seen one among 
the people of the Siberian coast nor among the St Lawrence islanders. 
It is decked over, except a hole amidships, where the navigator sits. 
They vary somewhat in size and shape in different localities, but the 
general plan of construction is the same. 






The frame consists of small strips of wood running lengthwise and 
brought together at the bow and stern: they are connected by curved 
ribs, placed at short intervals and fastened by rawhide cords; the bow 
has a stem piece of wood, roughly triangular in form; another piece at 
the stern is flattened, but varies in form according to the style of the 
kaiak in which it is placed. The rail is formed of a strong piece of wood, 
into which the upper ends of the ribs are mortised, holding the rail in 
place and forming a support for the deck of the boat, in the middle of 
which is a circular opening, forming the manhole, surrounded by a 
wooden hoop, which is fastened to two pieces extending to the bow and 
stern, and resting on the cross-pieces which support the deck. On each 
side of the manhole is a short stanchion mortised into the rail and the 
lower side of the rim of the manhole. The entire surface is covered 
with sealskins, tanned with the hair taken off, and sewed together 
with sinew cord. The seams are oiled or coated with reindeer tallow, 
and the entire surface of the boat is thoroughly covered with oil, which 
is permitted to dry before the boat is placed in the water. 

In front of the manhole the deck is crossed from side to side by two 
stout rawhide cords, three or four feet apart, and one or two similar 
cords are placed at the back of the manhole; slipped on these cords at 
the rail, on each side, are spur-like pieces of deerhorn, ivory, or bone. 
which project upward and form a rest on which may be placed the 
paddle or the hunting spears. 

Commencing with the kaiaks in use at Nunivak island, the following 
descriptions show the different forms used successively along the coast 
nearly to Point Barrow: 

figure 2, plate lxxix, illustrates a kaiak from ISTunivak island, L5 
feet 1 inch long, 14 inches deep, with 1*9 inches beam. Another kaiak, 
from the same island (figure 1, plate lxxix), is 15 feet 1 inch long, 14 
inches deep, and has 29 inches beam. These kaiaks are heavily made, 
the framework being strong and stoutly built, in order to withstand the 
stormy seas which they have to encounter about this island. A similar 
form is in use on the coast df the adjacent mainland. 

The manhole is placed a trifle back from the center; the rim is lashed 
to the rail by rawhide cords: the cross-pieces which support the deck 
are upcurved toward the middle, forming a ridge, on the top of which 
is lashed a stout stick extending each way from the manhole to the bow 
and to the stern, where it projects as a short, handle-like, quadrate spur; 
below this the stern slopes downward, with a slight slant toward the 
front. The wooden parts on top of tin 1 bow are ent out, forming a 
large, round opening just above the rail, around which the skill cover- 
ing is cut away. On some of the kaiaks this opening is made to repre 
Sent the eye of some myt h< (logical animal, the inont li of which is painted 
in black on the out aide of the covering. In front, of the stern are two 

loops of cord, which are attached to t lie cent ral ridge, and hang on each 

Bide, so that the shafts of the spears, which lie on the ivory rests, may 

be thrust into them and their points placed under the crosscord to 


hold them firmly in place. The cross section of these kaiaks is slightly 
rounded along the keel, with a stronger broken curve along each side 
to the rail. 

Figure 3, plate lxxix, shows a kaiak from St Michael. It is Jo' 
feci 8J inches long and 12 inches dee]), with liTJ, inches beam. 

The kaiaks of Norton sound are made lighter and narrower than 
those Prom Xunivak island. They are essentially the same in the plan 
of framework except that the projecting stern extends out even with 
the spur-like point of the top-piece, which reaches back from the man- 
hole. In the bow this top-piece extends forward to the upturned point 
of the stem, leaving' a broad, slot-like interspace. When these kaiaks 
are covered, the covering follows the point of the stem and of this cen- 
tral piece so as to leave an open space. The same is done at the stern, 
so that there is a slot-like opening there. This projecting point at the 
stern serves as a handle for lifting the kaiak, as does the projecting 
point of the centerpiece at the bow. The central ridge, produced by 
the stick fastened along the top of the upturned crosspieces of the 
deck, is similar to that in the kaiaks from Nuuivak island. 

Figure 4, plate lxxix, represents a kaiak from King island. It is 15 
feet 3 inches long, 13J inches deep, and has 28J inches beam. These 
kaiaks are comparatively short and broad, w r ith an upcurved bow very 
similar in form to that of the Xunivak island type, and with the same 
kind of circular opening through the bow piece. The stern is quite 
different, however, as it extends back from the manhole nearly straight 
for a short distance and then curves regularly down to the level of the 
keel point. These kaiaks are strongly made; they are used in the 
stormy waters of the strait, and sometimes are taken even to the Sibe- 
rian coast of the strait and to St Lawrence island. 

The kaiaks of Nunivak island and of Bering strait are curiously alike 
in general form, corresponding in a broad bottom and in the strength of 
their framework. The Xunivak island kaiaks, however, are sometimes 
twice the size of those used in Bering strait, and at times the bow is 
very strongly upcurved and the projecting end piece on the top of the 
stern extends out, or out and down, so that the point reaches halfway 
to the level of the keel. 

At Ivushunuk and Askinuk, as well as along the southern border of 
the Yukon mouth, the Xunivak island style of kaiak is in use, but to 
the northward it gives way to the type used in Norton sound. South- 
ward from Xunivak island there is a decrease in the size and height 
until they reach their minimum in the Aleutian islands. 

The kaiaks in use on the shores of Kotzebue sound are much smaller 
and slenderer than those found elsewhere along the Alaskan main- 
land, and are built on a somewhat different model. This style of kaiak 
is found from Kotzebue sound northward to Point Barrow, but at the 
hitter place they are made 4 , about one-fourth longer than in Kotzebue 
sound, and as their width is but little greater, they are proportion- 
ately slenderer. 






A kaiak from Cape Ivrusenstern (figure 6, plate lxxix) is 17 feet 
."'» inches in length, 8 inches in depth back of the manhole, and has 18 
inches beam. Another, from ('ape Espenberg (figure 5, plate lxxix), 
is 14 feet I inches loug, 13 inches deep, and has 21 inches beam. These 
are examples of the Kotzebne sound kaiaks. They are long, slender, 
and sharp-pointed at both ends; the manhole is placed somewhat back- 
ward of the center, and the deck is tlat from the rear of the manhole to 
the stern. Just in front of the manhole the deck is sprung upward by 
means of the upcurved cross-pieces so as to form a rising slope, which 
extends back to the rim of the manhole. 

This curving surface is brought to a central ridge by means of a strip 
of wood bound along the tops of the upcurving cross-pieces. The 
manhole is fitted into position along the rear of this raised portion, 
with its borders sloping down and backward to the lower flat deck 
behind. These kaiaks lie very low in the water, and the upsprung 
curve of the deck just in front of the manhole serves to throw off the 
water and prevent the full force of the waves from striking against the 

Kaiaks with two or three manholes are now used to a limited extent 
along the Alaskan coast. These have been introduced by the Russian 
traders from the Aleutian islands, but they are rarely used by the 
natives. They are ordinarily made for the convenience of white men. 
who can thus utilize native labor to propel them. 

in journeying on rivers or along the coast, the Eskimo frequently 
fasten two kaiaks side by side by lashing cross-sticks against the front 
and rear of the manholes with rawhide cord. A kind of platform of 
Sticks is also made across the deck, on which small loads of goods are 
plaeed. These are fixed usually behind the manhole, although at 
times a load is carried both before and behind the occupant. 

On one occasion, near St Michael, I saw two kaiaks lashed together 
in this way, with a man in each, and just behind them was placed a 
small pile of household goods, consisting mainly of bedding, upon which 
sat a woman. In front a small mast, held in position by guys, had been 
raised on a crosspiece lashed on the decks near the front crosscords, 
and a small sail, made from parchment-like gut skin, was raised. This 
odd-looking vessel was making very good time on a small stream before 
the wind. In rough weather ;it sea hunters frequently lash their kaiaks 
together in pairs in order to rest or to prevent accident. 

When the Corwin reached King island, in Bering strait, one stormy 

day in the summer <>!' 1881, the islanders lashed their kaiaks in pairs, 

and came off with piles of furs and other articles of hade heaped up 
on the decks behind t he manhole 8. 

The rim of the manhole is made slightly llaring or with the cover 

constricted just beneath i1 ne\t to the deck. Around this constriction 
a cord la passed, which fastens down the borders of the waterproof 
frock worn by the occupant in rough or wet weather. With this gar- 
ment lashed down it is impossible for any water to reacb the interior. 


When occupied by skilful paddle-men these boats arc very dillicult to 
upset and will ride through extremely rough weather in safety. I was 
t<»l(l that Borne of the most skilful among the coasl people could upset 
their kaiaks and right them again by the use of the paddle, but the 
old men said this feat was now becoming rare as the young hunters 
were degenerating and were not as good kaiak men as formerly, 


Boat hooks are used by the men on umiaks and kaiaks all along" the 
coast and on the islands, the principal difference in them being in the 
larger size of those used on the umiaks. These boat hooks are of great 
service, particularly to men on kaiaks when landing on rocky shores or 
upon the iee, and those having pointed spurs at the butt are used for 
fending off ice when paddling about at sea during spring and autumn. 

Figure 1, plate lxxx, illustrates a stout boat hook, (3 feet in length, 
for use in a umiak, which was obtained on Norton sound. The end 
of the shaft has a strong bone point lashed against a shoulder with 
rawhide cords; a foot inward from the lower end a strong spur of 
deerhorn is lashed against the side, from which it projects at a right 
angle. This is the style of boat hook commonly used on umiaks, the 
shafts varying from 6 to 8 feet in length. 

A boat hook intended for use on a kaiak, obtained at Golofnin bay, 
is shown in figure 3, plate lxxx. It is 4 feet 9 inches in length; the 
shaft is rounded and tapering, with a long, spur-like hook of w r alrus 
ivory set in a notch near its end and held in place by lashing with 
strips of whalebone passed through holes in the spur and shaft. This 
hook is llattened triangular in cross section; the inner edge is thin, 
but it broadens toward the back; it projects backward toward the end 
of the shaft and ends in a tapering point. . 

Boat hooks of this kind are common from the mouth of the Kusko- 
kwim to Kotzebue sound, and vary but little in shape and in the form of 
the spur or hook. The backs of these ivory hooks are covered with 
conventional patterns of diagonally etched lines, crossed by long, hori- 
zontal grooves. This pattern is common on these implements over a 
wide extent of territory. A specimen in the National Museum (num- 
bered 73797) was brought from Taku harbor, in southeastern Alaska. 
It is made of walrus ivory and is marked with the pattern described. 

Figure .15, plate LXXVIII, shows an ivory hook from Sledge island, 
which has two points at one end and the other fashioned into the form 
of ;i seal-head. Another small ivory hook of this kind (figure 26, plate 
LXXVIII) has three walrus-heads along the back. A long ivory hook 
from CJnalaklit (figure 23, plate lxxviii) has etched upon it a conven- 
tional pattern of straight lines and the raven totem sign. 

\ deerhorn hook from Askinuk (figure 25, plate lxxviii) has the back 
carved to represent the head of a walrus, the outlines of the tlippers 










being etched on the sides of the hook. A hook from Big- lake (figure 
22, plate lxxviii) has two raised heads extending along each side near 
the middle. Another, from the same place (figure lit, plate lxxviii), lias 
the back carved into the form of the head and body of a wolf, with 
etched lines below on the sides to represent the legs. A boat hook 
from Sledge island (figure 5, plate lxxx) has a strong wooden shaft, 3 
feet !> inches long, grooved along both sides. It has a double point 
hook of deerhorn bound to one side by a rawhide lashing, which passes 
through two holes in the shaft and through corresponding holes in 
the hook. The other end of the shaft is heavily grooved crosswise 
to afford a firmer grasp. 

These double-point hooks are frequently notched at the ends, so 
that the points become double, as shown in the specimen from St 
Michael, illustrated in figure 18, plate lxxviii. Boat hooks of this 
style are commonly used for drawing out articles from the interior of 
kaiaks which can not be reached with the hand. 

An ivory hook (figure 17, plate lxxviii) obtained on Norton sound 
by Mr L. M. Turner, has a forked point at one end and the head of a 
seal carved on the other. 

A boat hook from the lower Yukon (figure 2, plate lxxx) has a round 
handle, three feet in length, with a deerhorn hook lashed with spruce 
roots to one side of the end; the lashing passes through two holes 
in the handle, then through a corresponding hole near the outer end of 
the hook, and around a notch at the base. The holes in the handle, 
through which the loops pass, are plugged with wooden pins to bind 
the lashings. A detached hook for a similar implement from the lower 
Yukon, shown in figure 10, plate lxxviii, has its surface covered with 
a heavily etched pattern. 

A short boat hook from the lower Kuskokwim (figure 4, plate lxxx) 
has a backward-pointed spur of deerhorn near one end, which is held 
in place by rawhide 1 lashings through holes in the hook and in the shaft. 
A pointed spur of deerhorn at the butt is set in a groove in the same 
side as the hook at the other end, and is fastened by strong rawhide 
Cords passed through holes in the Spur and thence around the notched 
Shaft. The ends of the lashings at each end of the hook are inserted in 
slits made in the shaft with a flat-point chisel of bone or ivory. 


In Kotzebue sound the blades of the paddles used on umiaks are 
made rounded and very Short. North of this district. ;it Point Hope. 

the paddle blades are lanceolate in shape, broadest near the handle, 
and taper downward to a long, sharp point. 

Tin- paddles \\>i'i\ on kaiaks are made in two forms, one having a 

blade at each em! and the other being provided with a single blade. 

The forms of the blades vary according to locality. The single blade 
paddles have t he handles terminating in a crossbar, which is sometimes 


cut from fche same piece of wood, and at other times is formed from a 
separate piece pierced with a hole, by which it is fitted on the end of 
the handle. 

Figure 29, plate i.xwm, shows one of these crosspieces for a paddle 
handle from the lower Yukon. It is made of hone, is oval in outline, 
and is provided with a projecting lip on the lower side, through which 
is a round hole for putting on the end of the handle. 

figure 70a represents an umiak paddle used in Kotzebue sound, and 
figure 70/> shows a form of umiak paddle seen at Point Hope. 

The kaiak puddles used by the people of Nunivak island and the 
adjacent mainland are neatly made and frequently ornamented, in red 
and black paint, with figures forming the private marks or totem 
signs of the owner. 

The Bering strait islanders decorate their kaiak paddles in patterns 
of red and black, which probably form totem and ownership marks. 

Figure 71 b represents a double-blade paddle from King island. It 
is about 8 feet long and the handle is suboval in cross section. The 
blades are long, narrow, and flat on the surface which is to be used 

Fig. 70— Forms of umiak paddles. 

against the water, and are strengthened along the backs by a ridge 
down the middle. One of the blades is painted black and the other 
red, and the handle is surrounded by red and black bands. Another 
double-blade paddle, obtained at Point Barrow by Lieutenant Kay 
( figure 71 a), is 7 feet in length, with the blades nearly flat on both sides 
and much broader and more rounded than those of the preceding speci- 
men. The backs of the blades have a very slight ridge running down 
the center. A single-blade paddle from King island (figure 9, plate 
lxx\) has a large, broad blade, with a central ridge on the outside. 
The lower two-thirds of the blade is painted black, and a triangular 
spot of black is marked on each side: the ed^xa of the blade, where it 
joins the handle at the upper end, is also black, with a ring extending 
around the handle. All of these black markings are bordered by a 
narrow line of red and constitute the private marks of the owner. 

Another single blade kaiak paddle, from lvushunuk (figure 7, plate 
i.\\\). has a crosspiece fitted on the top of the handle by means of a 
square hole. The blade is long and slender and is tipped with black for 
;i -hoit distance; this is succeeded by several bands, varying in width, 
alternately of v^i, black, and uncolored wood. The handle near the 



blade is surrounded by a broad, black band, with a red band above and 
another below it. 

Figure 8, plate lxxx, represents one of a pair of single-blade kaiak 
paddles from Knslninnk. It has along, narrow 
blade, and the crossbar at the end of the handle 
is cat from the same piece. The paddle is marked 
with black lines and bars representing a female 
phallic emblem, one half of the figure being on 
each of the two paddles forming the set. On 
each side of the crossbar are incised lines repre- 
senting the mouth, nostrils, and eyes of a semi- 
human face. On one side the mouth is curved 
downward, and on the other it is upcurved. The 
two paddles are exact duplicates as to their 

A single-blade paddle from Big lake (figure <>, 
plate lxxx) is somewhat similar in form to the 
preceding. On the middle of the blade on each 
side is painted a red disk, surrounded by a black 
circle, from which a black band extends up the 
median ridge of the blade to its upper edge, 
where a black ring surrounds the handle; from 
this point to the tip the edge of the blade is 
painted black. 

In the vicinity of the lower Kuskokwim the 
paddle blades are somewhat similar in shape, 
but vary in the character of the figures painted 
on them, which indicate the totems or the owner- 
ship marks of their makers. 

Figure 10, plate lxxx, illustrates a thin, sword- 
shape Implement of wood, which was obtained at 
(ape Denbeigh. It is flat on one surface, down 
the middle of which extends a small groove, while 
the other surface is so ridged that the cross 
section forms a flattened triangle. It is employed 
by seal and walrus hunters for a double pur- 
pose — as a paddle for propelling the kaiak 
slowly and cautiously toward sleeping seals, and 

for Striking the water willi the Hat side to 
frighten a wounded animal and cause it to dive 

again before it can take breath, and thus become 
exhausted more quickly. From the Chukchi of 
the Asiatic coast, north west of Bering strait, I ob- 
tained a similar implement made iVoin a long, llat 

piece of whalebone fitted to a wooden handle. 

Strips of bone eut from the jaw or rib of a whale are sometimes 

L8 i.i ii — L5 

I'n. 7i K.iiak paddlea from 
I 'in ii i Barrow and King 


Lashed to the* rails of umiaks at the ])oint where the oars pass over them 
to preserve the cover from wear by friction. 

One of these strips, obtained at Port Clarence by Dr Dall, is shown 
in figure 35, plate lxxviii. It is flattened below, with one edge turned 
down, forming a slight lip: the upper portion is rounded, and has a 
projecting shoulder to retain the lashing which binds it to the rail of 
the boat. 


In Bering strait, where considerable whale fishing is done, small 
ivory or bone forks are lashed to the bows of umiaks, just inside and 
between the front ends of the rails; in these the ends of the lances and 
spears rest, and through them the lines run out. The projecting sides 
of these forks are usually carved in the form of the heads and shoulders 
of white bears. They are made in two pieces and are united in the 
middle by an ivory or bone block mortised in and fastened by wooden 
or ivory pegs. In some instances the two halves are lashed together 
by rawhide cords passed through holes; on the outer edges are holes 
through which pass the lashings which attach them to the bow. 

Figure 33, plate lxxviii, shows an example of these lance guards 
from the Diomede islands; another (figure 37, plate lxxviii) from Cape 
Prince of Wales, has been illustrated among the mythological figures 
to show the " thnnderbird " which is etched on its surface (see plate 

To prevent the spears and paddles from falling off the sloping deck 
of the kaiak, when not in use, there are used guards consisting of 
upstanding, spur-like pieces of bone, ivory, or deerhorn, which rest on 
the gunwale on each side, and are fastened to the crossline of the kaiak, 
which passes through a hole in the base. This base of the guard is 
flattened and sometimes heavily scored with grooves to give it a firmer 
hold against the surface of the skin covering. The guards are made 
in a variety of forms, the simplest of which is a subtriangular piece 
with the broad base downward. 

Figure 4, plate lxxviii, represents one of these guards, which was 
obtained at Konigunugumut; it is rounded in outline and narrow 
above, where it ends in the form of a tail of a white whale. Another, 
from Chalitmut (figure 3, plate lxxviii), is curved over at the end and 
pierced with a narrow, pear-shape hole through the tip. 

Another simple form is a flattened, shell-like piece of ivory, having 
the bottom curved or flat for resting on the surface of the cover, with a 
thin, flattened or oval upturned point, the outer side of which is gen- 
erally covered with etched patterns. Sometimes the inner surface is 
also ornamented in the same manner. Figure 8, plate LXXVIII, from 
Anogoginut; figure 10, plate lxxviii, from Kushunuk, and figures 7 
and 9, plate LXXVIII, from Slugunugumut . represent examples of this 
h ind of guard. 

- ' 



Fig. 72 — Ivory spear guard for kaiak ($). 

In many cases these spear guards are made in the form of various 
animal figures. 

Figures 72 and 73 represent a pair of beautifully made ivory guards 
from Kaialigamut. One of them (figure Tii ) lias the broad outer sur- 
face carved to represent grotesque semihuman features, and the upper 
end represents the face of a seal, while on the two sides are the figures 
of white whales. On the other (figure 73), on both sides, are carved 
semihuman faces, and on each side is the figure of a seal in relief, and 
terminating in the head of a seal. 
These are all beautifully executed 

A guard from Cape Vancouver 
(figure 12, plate lxxviii) is in the 
form of a hand, with the palm 
pierced and a tuft of seal hair set 
in the back and held in place by a 
wooden plug. Another, from ( 5ape 
Nome (figure 5, plate lxxviii), is 
carved in the shape of the head of a white bear. A rounded guard with 
truncated end (figure 13, plate lxxviii) is from Sfugunugumut. A 
specimen from Agiukchugumut (figure 11, plate lxxviii) is in the form 
of the head and shoulders of a human being, with the hands repre- 
sented by a Hipper etched on each shoulder. Another example from 
Cape Nome (figure 0, plate lxxviii) is in the shape of the head of a 
white bear, with fragments of blue beads representing the eyes and 
another bead inlaid on the top of the head. 

On Nunivak island a somewhat different form of guard is made. It 
is carved in the shape of a seal or other animal, with the body some six 

or seven inches in length, and has 
a hole passing diagonally through 
the side, through which are passed 
the cross-cords. These figures 
then lie diagonally along the cover 
near the mil with the heads point- 
ing upward. 

Figure l l, plate lxwiii, repre- 
sents one of these guards, which 
is in t lie form of a land otter. 
Figure 2, plate lxxviii, shows an ivory guard, obtained ;it Kotzebue 
sound, of ;i pattern different from those generally ws^d. The portion 
which rests on the cover of the kaiak is rounded above and tapers 
downward ton wedge-shape point; the upright part forms an obtuse 
point, which curves forward from the base. A similar guard, made 
from deerhorn, was obtained on Sledge island. 

For repairing broken ribs or for strengthening weak places in the 
frames of umiaks and kaiaks, strips of ivory or deerhorn are used as 

Fig. 73— Ivory spear gnard for kaiak i \). 


splices: boles are pierced through the ends, or a shoulder is left across 
the upper side t<> retain the lashings by which they are fastened. Fig- 
ures 32 and .">»i. plate LXXVIII, show examples of splices for use on 
umiaks, collected on Sledge island. 

A small deerhorn splice, from St Michael, intended for use on a kaiak, 
is showD in figure 31, plate LXXVIII. It is pointed oval in outline, and 
has holes along the middle to receive the lashing. 

A Longer splice, from Ohalitmut (figure 30, plate lxxviii), is slightly 
hollowed below and convex on the outer side; it has two holes along 
the central line, which is grooved on the convex surface; the latter is 
crossed by numerous incised lines to prevent the lashings from slipping. 

When paddling about among the broken ice in spring and autumn 
there is danger of the skin covering of the kaiak being cut at the bow 
by floating pieces of ice; to lessen this risk protectors are made from 
deerhorn and bound on the bow at the water line. 

Figure 27, plate lxxviii, represents one of these protectors from 
Pikmiktalik ; it is 7£ inches long, and is excavated within so as to form 
a hollow shoulder. One end terminates in a hollow, spoon-shape 
point, which rests against the bow above the water line. The lower 
end has a bar of the material left across it, which rests against the 
bow below the water line, thus permitting the curve to enter the hollow 
but not to rest against the interior of the protector. Holes along the 
sides and three notches across the outer surface serve for the lashing 
by which it is attached to the bow of the boat. The sides are orna- 
mented with a conventional pattern of etched lines. 

A similar bow protector from Cape Nome (figure 28, plate lxxviii) 
is made of deerhorn ; it has holes along the sides for attaching it to the 
boat. This protector is not ornamented. 

The cross-cords for kaiaks are generally plain rawhide lines, but 
sometimes they are ornamented with beads carved from walrus ivory 
and strung on them. The commonest form of these represents an 
inflated sealskin float, generally alternated with round or elongated 
beads of ivory, and ornamented with etched patterns or having the 
sm laces of the beads pierced with round holes, in which are inserted 
small, black wooden pegs. , 

Figure 1, plate lxxviii, represents one of these cords from King 
island. The ornaments strung along it are held in place by wooden 
wedges, inserted in the holes through which the cord passes. Examples 
of similar cords were collected at points from Bristol bay to beyond 
Kotxelme sound. 


According to traditions of the I' unlit, the people on the coast of 
Bering strait, in ancient; times, made regular summer trading voyages 
back and forth across the strait. Old men told me of having seen small 
pieces of clotb which had been brought by the people of East cape, 

nelson] TRADING VOYAGES 229 

Siberia, and sold as curiosities to the American Eskimo, before the Rus- 
sians took possession of the country. They also informed me that the 
use of tobacco was introduced among them, before they were brought 
into direct contact with white men, by means of trade with their 
Asiatio neighbors, who brought across Bering strait small bundles, 
called "hands," of Circassian leaf tobacco. 

In ancient times intertribal communication along the coast was irreg- 
ular and uncertain, owing to the hostile attitude of the people toward 
one another. For this reason trading was then confined to those villages 
which happened to be on friendly terms. Now the old barriers have 
been broken down, and active barter between the different communities 
has become a marked feature of their life. This is particularly the ease 
among the people living between the Kuskokwim and Kotzebue sound. 
The numerous fur-trading stations which have been established among 
them, and the visits of trading vessels and whaling ships to the coast 
of Bering strait, have served to quicken and encourage among them 
the spirit of trade. In summer the people of Bering strait make visits 
to the head of Kotzebue sound and to the mouth of the Yukon, carry- 
ing the skins of tame reindeer purchased from the people of the Asiatic 
coast, for which they receive in barter skins of various fur-bearing 
animals that are used in turn for trading with vessels in Bering strait 
or with their Asiatic neighbors. For the latter purpose beaver and 
land-otter skins are the most highly prized, as the Chukchi of Siberia 
will always offer two full-size deerskins for one of either of the skins 
named. They cut them into strips for trimming the collars of their 
deerskin coats, and use them also for trading with the Russians. 

Parties of traders from East cape, Siberia, and the Diomede islands 
also make yearly voyages to Kotzebue sound, where the Eskimo of 
Kow ak and Noatak rivers hold a sort of summer fair. After the sea 
freezes in winter, the Eskimo, who have thus obtained a stock of rein- 
deer skins, start out with dogs and sledges to travel along the coast 
and barter for furs. In the winter of 1880 I met, on Norton sound, a 
sledge party of Eskimo, who were making a trading trip from Sledge 
island to Kotzebue sound. 

The Malemut along Kotzebue sound make trading trips southward 
to the Yukon, and even to their enemies, the Tinne of Koyukuk river. 
The Malemut are the most energetic and enterprising of all tin' people 
of this region. They are great traders, and are more courageous and 
domineering than most of the natives with whom they deal, and are 
in consequence much disliked by the people with whom they conic in 

When, in L873-'74, the reindeer suddenly left the shores of Norton 
Bound, these people pushed on in family parties from point to point 
until, in l-STT-'T.s, they had reached Kuskokwim river, Nunivak island, 

and Bristol bay. 
During trading voyages there are carried from one part of the conn 


try to another beads and other articles of use or ornament, as well as 
pieces of jadeite, which material, according to some of the Eskimo, is 
found in the mountains inland from Kotzebue sound and also on Kaviak 
peninsula. Small articles, such as green and red paint and wooden 
dishes, were sent out from the lower Yukon; and the people of other 
localities who have a surplus of seal oil, dried fish, and skins of various 
animals, take them to points where they can be exchanged for other 
desirable commodities. 

During one winter at St Michael the skin of a Siberian squirrel was 
brought to me by an Eskimo living on Norton sound, he having 
obtained it on Bering strait. The skin must have come from the inte- 
rior of Siberia. 

In the month of August, 1879, we were visited at St Michael by an 
umiak from ('ape Prince of Wales, and. another from King island. In 
July, 1881, a number of umiaks arrived from the former place. These 
all brought deerskins and tanned hides of seal and walrus for trade. 
The umiaks in full sail, crowded with fur-clad people, dogs, and their 
various possessions, made a very picturesque sight. Among the men 
were some Chukchi from the northern coast of Siberia. These were 
recognized by our officers, who had spent a couple of weeks with them 
earlier in the season. The Chukchi generally start out on their trad- 
ing voyages in May, traveling along the shore with dog sleds, hauling 
on them their umiaks, which are folded, until they reach open water, 
when the sleds are left at some point and the umiaks set up; then, tak- 
ing the dogs and goods on board, they coast along the shore of Bering 
sound and over to the American side. Some of them even visit the 
Russian fair at Ghigiga, near Anadyr river, during the winter to dis- 
pose of the furs they have gathered on their summer trading voyages. 

During one season an umiak came to St Michael from King island, 
but the people were poorly supplied with goods for trading, having 
only dried salmon and seal oil. As usual, they were very difficult to 
trade with on account of their slowness in closing a bargain. A man 
would bring in a bunch of dried fish, throw it on the floor, and then 
stand about as if he had no interest in anything going on, until asked 
what he wished; when the regular T)rice was offered he would almost 
invariably refuse, and then a long talk would ensue, which ended either 
by his accepting what was offered or by taking away the fish. This 
slowness is common with these people. 

I was at a trading station on the head of Norton bay one winter 
when a Malemut chief wished to exchange some reindeer skins for 
various articles. It was in the evening, and after prolonged haggling, 
and changing one article tor another, which lasted until 3 oclock next 
morning, half a dozen skins were finally bought from him. We retired 
and were hardly in bed before the man came back to exchange for other 
things -«»mc of the goods which he had taken. Finally the trader put 
him oil' until next day, when he again occupied a couple of hours before 


he was satisfied. This may be an extreme ease, but it illustrates their 
genera] methods of trading. 

In July, 1881, we found at Ilotham inlet a row of over L50 conical 
lodges set up for over a mile along the beach, which were occupied 
by Malemut from Selawik lake and natives from Kowak and Noatak 
rivers. In L880 Captain Hooper found about twelve hundred of these 
people encamped at Cape Blossom, but in 1881 the main camp had 
been located at Ilotham inlet. When we arrived there we saw a small 
trading schooner lying off the village, surrounded by umiaks three or 
four deep and the deck crowded by a dense mass of the Eskimo. 
Tobacco, drilling, knives, ammunition, and other small articles were 
used to buy from them the skins of reindeer, wolves, black bear, arctic; 
hare, red, white, and cross foxes, etc. As we proceeded up the coast a 
number of umiaks were seen on their way to the cam]) at Ilotham inlet, 
and at many points we saw umiaks on trading trips up the coasl, and 
some of the people told us that they had bought riiles and cartridges 
from the men of Cape Prince of Wales. 

At many places from Point Hope to Point Barrow we were ottered 
whalebone, ivory, the skins of reindeer, mountain sheep, Parry's mar- 
mot, whistlers, and many white and red fox skins. Whisky and car- 
tridges seemed to be about the only articles desired by these people in 
exchange. This was unfortunate, considering the fact that the object 
of our visit to the coast was to prevent the sale of these very articles 
to the natives. 

Near Cape Lisburne we met nine umiaks containing about one 
hundred people from Point Hope, who were on their way to the vicinity 
of Point Harrow to trade. Their dogs were running along the shore, 
keeping abreast of the boats but stopping occasionally to howl dolefully. 
We obtained two photographs of their camp near our anchorage. 

While we were anchored in Kotzebue sound in September, several 
umiaks passed on their way back to Cape Prince of Wales from a 
trading voyage up the coast. One came alongside the Corwin that 
had a huge sail made by sewing numberless pieces of deerskin into a 
strange patchwork. 

To show the difficulty attending the navigation of these frail boats in 
Bering strait I will state that, although we made six passages through 
the strait during the summer of 1881, only once was it clear enough from 
fog to permit the high land of both shores to be seen. Among the 
islanders of Bering Strait the main articles they had for barter were 
coils of rawhide line, tanned sealskins, and handsomely made. Water- 
proof sealskin boots. At East cape and along the Siberian coast, 
including St Lawrence island, the articles of trade among the Eskimo 
were walrus ivory, whalebone, and the skins of white foxes and rein- 
deer. The St Lawrence islanders make frequent trading voyages to 
the Siberian coast, where they obtain reindeer skins for clothing. 
Formerly these people went along the American coast as far as Cape- 


Nome, but this has not occurred recently. On a clear day the head- 
land on the Siberian shore is visible from St Lawrence island, some 
10 or 50 miles away. 

During the summer of 1879 the Tinne from Anvik, on the lower 
Yukon, descended the river in several umiaks and visited St Michael 
to exchange their wooden tubs and dishes for seal oil and other 
products of the coast district. 



The skins of mammals, being the most valuable portable property 
among the Alaskan Eskimo, give the most convenient standard of 
value. In very early days, before the advent of the Russians about 
the Yukon district, the skin of the full-grown land otter was consid- 
ered the unit of value. Equaling it was the skin of the large hair seal. 

( )f late years the skin of the beaver has replaced the otter skin as 
the unit of trade value. All other skins, furs, and articles of trade 
generally are sold as "a skin" and multiples or fractions of "a skin," 
as it is termed. In addition to this, certain small, untanned skins, 
used for making fur coats or blouses, are tied in lots sufficient to make 
a coat, and are sold in this way. It requires four skins of reindeer 
fawns, or forty skins of Parry's marmot or of the muskrat, for a coat, 
and these sets are known by terms designating these bunches. Thus: 

Four fawn skins = no-ulch' -kit. 

Forty Parry's marmot skins = chi-giJch'-Jcut. 
Forty muskrat skins = i-lig'-i-iviVch'-lcut. 

The pelt of a wolf or a wolverine is worth several "skins" in trade, 
while a number of pelts of muskrats or Parry's marmot are required 
to make the value of "a skin." 

The foregoing terms are of the Unalit, but similar ones are in use 
among all the Eskimo of this region. 


All units of linear measurement among these people are based on 
body measurements — mainly of the hand and the arm, which form the 
readiest standards. Such units of measurement are used also by them 
for gauging the size and length of all of their tools, implements, and, 
in fact, of nearly everything made by them. 

As the length of a man's hands and arms are usually in proportion 
to the length of his body, it is evident that bows, arrows, spears, boat 
Inline-, etc, when made by him according to a fixed number of spans or 
cubits, will he in direct proportion to himself, and thus especially suit- 
able to his use, whether he be large or small. 


The following terms are from the lliialit, and cover the units of 
measurement commonly in use, although others probably exist: 

Large, tin-to -Hk. 

Small, mik -i-liu -u-iik. 

Xi-<i'in ' is the measurement of the length of the mesh in the largest seal nets 
used for the large hair seal or miik-liik. It is found by measuring a line from the tip 
of the extended thumb of the right hand across the palm of the hand, the lingers 
being closed. 

Xii-ki-shitn' m-g'in' is the mesh of the small salmon (nu-ka') net. This is the dis- 
tance from the wrinkle or line dividing the first and second joints of the right fore- 
linger to the line midway between the base of the thumb and the forefinger. 

Tu-bukh-chun ni-g'in' is the size of the mesh used for nets for the large sea whiteiish 
(in-bnk ). It is found by taking the width of the extended first three fingers on the 
palmar surface at the first joint. 

Tini-i-ji'.k -whukli-chun' ni-g'in' is the size of the mesh for the large salmon (Mg-i- 
shiik -irhuk), and is measured from the base of the extended thumb along the inner 
surface of the hand to the tip of the extended first linger. 

l-ka'-thlu-ukh'-pukh-chun ni-g'in' is the mesh for the herring seine (herring = i-ka'- 
thht-i'tkh'-piik). The width of the inner surface of the two extended first fingers at 
the first joint. 

Stokh-chun ni-g'in is the mesh used in nets for the white whale (sHo'-uk). The tips 
of the extended thumbs are placed together and the measurement taken on the 
palmar surface across both extended hands along the line of the thumbs. 

Tun-tushun ni-gluik'. The length of the rawhide line used for a reindeer snare is 
obtained by passing the cord Twice around the sole of the left foot and drawing the 
double loop up to the groin while sitting on the lloor with feet extended. 

Kai-okh' -hlikh-chwn' ni-g'ui' is the mesh used in nets for the Arctic hare (kai-okW- 
hhi . It is determined by the width of the palm at the base of the fingers. 

.l-kiij -ii gikh-chun' ni-ghdk'. The length of the cord used for snaring ptarmigan 
(i'i-ki'ij -1-g'tk). The distance from the tip of the outstretched forefinger along the 
palm and the inner side of the forearm to the point of the elbow. 

Pd-lol -tukh-chun' kH'-bvi-shd, the mesh used in nets for beaver {pa-lok -ink). The 
distance around the head on a line with the middle of the forehead. 

I'-inig'-i'i-mun is the distance from the tip of the extended left thumb, with lingers 
closed, along the inside of the extended arm to the armpit. 

K'okh-kog •H-nuk ) the distance measured from the end of the left thumb across the 
palm of the closed hand, thence along the upper side of the- outstretched arm and 
acro>> tin- chest to the inner mid of the right collar bone. 

Tuj -i-iinni , same as the last, but extended to the point of the right shoulder. 

I-kii -yig-i-nUg -ii-miik. same as the last, but extended to the point of the light 
elbow, the right arm being extended and Hexed at the elbow . 

/-fin -i/t-giig -i-iiiik. This is the measurement used for making the stem, or how- 
piece, of a kaiak. It is found by measuring from the tip of the extended forefinger, 

through the palm of the hand and along the inner side of the arm, to the point of 

the el how, with the added width of the left forefinger, which is placed crosswise on 
the angle of t be elbow . 

.1; -A//// -u-ui'ii i^ ;i measurement used for making boot soles, the height of kaiak 
frames, etc. It is a Bpan, or the distance between the outstretched tips of the 
thumb and the second fingei of the right haul. 

/\ in a is the height of a man's knees from the ground; used in making dog-sleds. 

)ii', a mil, . The distance from the tip of the extended left thumb, along the arm. 
-< the chest, ami to the tip of the extended right thumb. This is the most com- 

i <n is the name given to th< ;ang< used in measuring meshes of nets of am kind 


mon unit <>f measure used among these people. It is the regular measurement used 
for all objects having considerable length, such us rawhide lines, nets, cloth, etc. It 
is adopted by the fur traders, and is called a 'fathom.' By it cloth and other trading 
goods of thai character are sold, the end of the article to be measured being taken 
in the Left hand, with the extreme end opposite the tip of the left thumb, then the 
edge of the cloth is slid through the right hand and raised until it is drawn across 
the chest, under the chin, by the outstretched right hand ; then the left hand drops 
its end and takes a new hold at the point of the right thumb, and so the operation 
is repeated until the desired length is obtained. 


The Eskimo divide their time by moons, each moon being designated 
by the title of the most characteristic local phenomenon which accom- 
panies it. The following lists of mouths from various localities agree 
in this. By the " moons" all time is reckoned during the year, and dates 
are set in advance for certain festivals and rites. In addition to the 
moons, the year is frequently divided into four seasons according to the 
regular occupations that occur in each — but this is indefinite and irreg- 
ular as compared with the other method. 

In counting years they are referred to as winters — the winter being 
the most impressive x>art of each year in this high latitude. 

The following are Unalit terms : 

A year, aihl-han'-i. 
A moon, i-gha'-luk. 
Spring, u'-pi-nukh'-kiik. 
Summer, ki-uk' '. 
Autumn, uk-shu'-uk. 
Winter, uk-shuk'. 
Long ago, it-ka'. 
Very long ago, u-ka'-mi. 

Thirteen moons are counted to a year, but I failed, unfortunately, to 
obtai n the complete series. In th e following lists the moon s are arran ged 
as they correspond with our months; as a matter of course, this corres- 
pondence is not perfect, but is very close. 

January, Wi'-wik. "To turn about," from an ancient game played with a top. 

February, Xai-ikh'-chtk. Time first seals (nai'-yik') are born. 

March, Ti-gig'i-lukh'-cMk. The time of creeping on game. From the custom of 
hunting seals on the ice by stalking. 

April, h'ip-iitikh'-chik. The time of cutting off. 'From the appearance of sharp 
lines where the white of the ptarmigans' bodies is contrasted with the brown of the 
new summer neck feathers which begin to appear at this time. 

May, KaV -akh-tug 1 -o-wik . Time for going in kaiaks. The ice opens at this time 
so that the hunters go out to sea in kaiaks. 

June, Xo-ukli'-chih/'-i't-wik. Time of fawn hunting. 

July, Kon-in' -ni -g'e' -nut tn-ij'-u-vl-ut. The time of geese getting new wing feathers 

August, Kuf-u-gut ii't-ij'-ii-ri-ut. Time for brooding geese to molt. 

September, Am-i-ghai'-ghtt-wik. The time for velvet shedding (from horns of rein- 

( October, Ku'-bvl-j&kh-pUg'-ii'W^k. Time for setting seal nets. 

November, Uk'-whd-tfig'-d-ivtk, Time for bringing in winter stores. 

December, Chau'-i-Ug'-H-wlk. Time of the drum — the month when the winter fes- 
tivals begin. 


Very often several different names may be used to designate the 
same moon if it should chance to be at a season when different occu- 
pations or notable occurrences in nature are observed, and I have used 
the most common terms. 

On the lower Yukon, near Mission, the following terms are used for 
the moons: 

January, U-i'-wiik. The season for top-spinning and for running around the 

January (last part, and first part of February), A-ki-luh' st-a'-gu-wik. Time of 
offal eating (from a-ki-lukh-stakh-tok, "he boils offal 77 ). This name comes from the 
scarcity of food likely to occur at this time and the necessity that arises during such 
periods to eat scraps of every description. Another name used for this moon is 
I-ga-luh'-lukh, the cold moon. 

February-March, Kup-nukh-chiik. The time of opening the upper passageways 
into the houses. This term was said to come from the time long ago when they 
claim it was much warmer than now and when the sun began to melt the snow a 
month earlier than at present. 

March-April, Tin' '-li-mi-dkh' -Ihu-ug' '-il-wik . Birds come. 

April-May, Tin' -u-mi-ag' -u-wik. Geese come (tin-ii-mi-uk, goose). 

May- June, Man-it 1 dn-u 1 -tit. Time of eggs (man 1 ik). 

June-July, Nuk' siig 1 -o-wik . Time of salmon (niik'-siik). 

July-August, U-ko'-go-li-sog' -u-wik. Time for red salmon (u-kog'-o-lik). Also, TuV- 
u-mi-at' ih-u'-tit, Waterfowl molt. 

August-September, Tin'-ii-mi-dt tin-u'-vi-at. Time for young geese to fly. 

September-October, Am-i-gai'-g u-wik. Time for shedding velvet (d-mi'-vik) from 
reindeer horns. 

October-November, Chup'-ivhik. Mush ice forms. 

November-December, Ka'-gi-tdgh'- u-wik. Time of muskrats (ka-gi'-tak). 

December-January, Chai-ugh' -u-wik. Time of the feast (chai'iik). 

Among the Eskimo just south of the Yukon delta the following 
moons are recognized: 

January, Wi'-wik. From the game with a top ; also the time of a certain festival in 
which the dancers wear straw fillets stuck full of feathers. 

February, A-gdh-lilkJi'-luk. The time of much moon (long nights). 

March, Un-dgh-o-wik. Time of taking hares in nets. 

April, Kup-nukh' -clink. Time of opening summer doors. 

May, Tin-mi-dgh' -u-wik. Arrival of geese. 

June, Chi-sugh' '-il-wik. Time of whitefish. 

July, Tilg-i-yuk'-piik ka-gu'-ti. The time of braining salmon. (The fish are struck 
on the head when lifted from the water.) 

August, Tin-ii-mi-tit in-u'-ti. Geese molt. 

September, Ku'-gi-yut' in-u'-ti. Swans molt. 

October, Ttn-u'-tit. The flying away (migration of birds). 

November, Am'-i-gha'-ghun. Time of velvet shedding (from reindeer horns). 

The name for December was not obtained. 


The following notes and numerals are from the Unalit Eskimo, but 
are typical of the system in use among all the Eskimo with whom I 
came in contact, except those of the Aleutian islands: 

Kit-stchV ', count. 
Kit-xtchi'-nuk, coi 
Kit'-stchi-ok, he counts. 

Kit-slclii'-nuk, counting. 


The intertribal communication between the mainland Alaskan Eskimo 
and the constant trade carried on among them have developed consider- 
able quickness in the use of numbers up to two or three hundred; this 
is quite general with both old and young. Going beyond the numbers 
ordinarily used in trade, however, the most intelligent among them 
become quickly confused. 

In order for them to count correctly it is necessary to have the objects 
lying before them, and these are placed in groups of twenties as they 
are counted. If required to count abstractly they soon become con- 
fused after reaching one or two score; in this, however, there is great 
individual variation. About the Bering strait region most boys of 10 
or 12 years of age count objects very readily up to one hundred and 
over, and some men can reach four hundred, but it is only among the 
most intelligent natives of this section that four hundred can be 
counted, and it is rare that attempt is made to exceed that number. 

The Eskimo system of counting is based on a series, of fives, rising 
in this way to twenties. The fingers and toes furnish the counters for 
computing numbers, as is explained below. Among the Unalit Eskimo, 
as elsewhere among these people-, there is great variability in indi- 
vidual power. The most intelligent men and boys can count very 
readily up to two hundred or more, while others seem incapable of 
counting to twenty without blundering and repeated mistakes, like a 
stupid, slow-witted child. At every mistake made by such persons 
they are compelled to return and commence at one again, being 
unable to hold the numbers clearly enough in mind to take them up at 
intermediate points. Not even the most intelligent among them seem 
capable of counting readily beyond the number of his fingers and toes 
without the aid of objects directly before him. For this purpose I 
usually provided gun caps or matches, which served very conveniently 
as markers. 

In counting such small objects they commonly placed them in groups 
of live, and as four of these were completed they were swept into a 
single large group of twenty; in this way successive twenties were 
completed and kept separately. 

When making twenty the person would sometimes count the fives, 
commencing each time at one, but the most intelligent usually counted 
on to twenty, using the numerals of the regular series as given in the 
list. When an Eskimo was asked to count up to twenty without using 
lingers or toes, his eyes would seek, involuntarily, for something with 
which to tally, and even when asked to count five his eyes would turn 
at once to one of his hands, though he might make no visible use of his 

I ii using the fingers and toes for counting, the closed hands are held in 
front ol* the waist, palms down, and thumbs near together. Commeuc 
ing with the little finger of the right hand, as one, they pass to the left, 
opening or extending each finger in succession as its number is called 


until the right thumb, or Dumber five, is reached. Passing thence to 
the little finger of the left hand for six, the lingers of this hand are 
opened successively until the left thumb and ten are reached. As ten is 
said the two hands, thumbs near together and fingers all outstretched, 
palms down, are extended a little from the body. Then the right foot is 
advanced a little and the right forefinger points at the little toe of that 
foot as the counter says at-khakh' '~tok. This word ordinarily means "it 
goes down," and is used here both to indicate the descent in counting 
from hands to feet as well as having, at times, an acquired meaning in 
this connection of eleven. The toes are counted from right to left until 
the right great toe is reached, when both hands with open fingers, 
palms down, are extended toward the right foot, which is advanced a 
little more as the counter announces fifteen. The counter then lets the 
left hand fall by the side and points at the left great toe, saying, gukh'-tok, 
meaning "it goes over," and sometimes conveying in this connection 
the acquired meaning of sixteen, as well as the going "over" of the 
count from one side of the body to the other. The other toes of the left 
foot are then enumerated from right to left, and as the small toe is 
reached, if the person be sitting, he extends both feet in front of him, 
doing the same with his hands, palms down, and says twenty j if he be 
standing, then the open hands are extended downward with a slight 
motion and the number is spoken. 

The use of dt-JchaJch' -tolc and gukW-tok for numerals, as given above, 
is not uncommon among the intelligent x^eople who are able to count 
readily up to twenty in a single series of numerals. Among the igno- 
rant and slow-witted twenty is reached by making up four series of num- 
bers running from one to five. In cases of this kind these two words 
are used between ten and eleven and fifteen and sixteen, simply to 
convey their regular meaning. They are most commonly used in count- 
ing the fingers and toes, when their application is quite natural; but 
often they are used in counting various other objects, and seem to be 
in a transitional state toward becoming the regularly recognized numer- 
als. When used as numerals, as noted above, their meaning in that 
sense seems to be recognized by everyone. 

Two is usually mal'-u-ghitk, but it is often replaced by ai'-pii, which 
means second, or a pair. This latter word is used commonly to desig- 
nate one of a pair, such, for instance, as in speaking of the close friend 
of another person, who is referred to as his at' -pa. The name for the 
right arm and hand taken together is ta-kltk'-pik. 

The term for five is ta-hli'-mik. The right hand alone is called 
ta-hlik'-pim ai'-lii (ai'-Mk = hand, either right or left). 

Nine is ko' •Un-o-gho-tai' -Un-un, from ko-Un', ten, and tai'-tiik, not, or 
lacking; i. e., ten lacking one. 

Ko-lhi', ten, is from ko-hli', the upper half or the upper part of the 
body, or the count of the fingers. The word half is ko'-kan. 

Twenty is yu-i'nuk, from yuk, man, and means "a man completed." 


When the person reaches twenty he will very often say yu-i-nakh'-tok, 
meaning "the man is finished." If he is asked how many lingers and 
toes he has counted he will reply "yu-i'-nuk." 

When forty is reached a singular change takes place in the naming 
of the twenties. For instance, forty is mal'-u-ghu-i'-pi-ak, from mal'-u- 
<jhuk, two, and i'-pi-ak, a set of animal's legs and paws, with the toes, 
this last coming from i'-jpik, the name given to the combined leg, foot, 
and toes of any mammal. Thus forty becomes "two sets of animal's 
paws." In this way each succeeding twenty is designated by combin- 
ing one of the cardinal numbers with i'-pi-ak up to four hundred. At 
this point a change occurs, and the idea of a man is combined with that 
of the animal, as follows: Four hundred is yu-i'-n'dm yum i-pi'. This 
may be analyzed as follows: yu-i'-n'dm, twenty; yum, of a man's; i-pi', 
sets of paws; or, "twenty sets of man's paws," this meaning twenty 
times twenty. 

The following tables of Unalit numerals, with explanatory notes and 
the facts already given, will render plain their system of counting. 

The first column in the first table gives the numerals as commonly 
used when counting the fingers and toes; the second column gives the 
forms used in counting exterior objects or to express a complete num- 
ber. These two sets of numbers are sometimes interchangeably used, 
so that no invariable custom defines their usage. 

1. d-tau'-tsik d-tau'-tsik. 

2. mal'-u-ghuk, or ai'-pd mdl-u-ghuk, or ai'-pd. 

3. pin-a'-shu-uk pin-ai 1 -yun. 

4. sta'-mik sta'-mun. 

5. ta-hli'-mik ta-hli'-mun. 

6. a-ghu-bin'-ghuk a-ghu-bin'-Ugn. 

7. mal-4-ghun' -Ugn mal-u-ghun' -Ugn. 

8. pin-ai-yun' -Ugn pin-ai-yun' -Ugn. 

9. ko ' -Un-o-gho-tai -lin-un ko' Un-o-gho-tai' -lin-un. 

10. ko-lin' ko-lin' '. 

11. (it-khakh'-tok, or d-tau'-tsik ko-ld' d-tau'-tsi-muk chi' -pi-tok. 

12. ai'-pa, or mal'-u-ghuk ko-ld' mal-u-gu'-nik chi' -pi-tok. 

13. pin-a'-shu-uk ko-ld' pin-ai' -yun-ik chi 1 -pi-tok. 

14. sta'-mik ko-ld' sta'-min-ik chi-pi-tok. 

15. a-ki'-mi-dk, or ta-hli'-mik ko-ld' td-hli-mun-ik chi-pi-tok. 

16. gukh'-tok ko-ld' a-ghu-Mn'-lign-ik chi-pi-tok. 

17. ai'-pd, or mal'-u-ghuk ko-ld' mdl-u-ghuri' -lign-ik chi-pi-tok. 

18. pin-a'shu-uk ko-ld' pin-ai' -yun-lign-ik chi-pi-tok. 

19. sta'-mik _ ko-ld' ko-lin'-o-gho-tai'-lin-dg'-a-g'uk. 

20. yu-i'-nuk, or ta-hli'-mik yu-i'-nuk. 

21. d-tau'-tsik yu-i'-nuk d-tau'-tsi-muk chip -hlu-ku. 

22. ai'-pd, or mdl '-u-ghuk yu-i'-nuk mal-u-ghun' -%k chip' -hlu-ku. 

23. pin-a'-shu-uk yu-i'-nuk pin-ai' -yun-ik chip' -hlu-ku. 

24. sta'-mik yu-i'-nuk sta'-min-ik chip' -hlu-ku. 

25. td-hli'mik yu-i'-nuk td-hli' -min-ik chip' -hlu-ku.- 

26. a-ghu-hin-ghuk yu-i'-nuk a-ghu-bin '-lign-ik chip'-hluku. 

27. mal'-U-ghun'-Ugn yu-i'-nuk mal-u-ghun' -lign-ik chip'-hfu-ku. 

28. pin-ai-yun' -Ugn yu-i'-nuk pin-ai-yun' -lign-ik chip' -hlu-ku. 


29. ko' -lin-o-gho-tai' -Un-un yu-i'-nuk ko-lin-o-gpo-tai'-lin-og'-u'-g'iik chip - 


30. ko-lln' yu-i'-nuk ko-lin'-ik chvp-hlu-ku. 

40. mdV -u-ghu-i '-pl-iik . 

50. mill' -u-ghu-i' -pl-iik ko-lin'-ik chljy'-l-hlu'-ku. 

60. pin-ai'-yun i'-pi-ak. 

70. pin-ai'-yun i'-pl-iik ko-lln' -ik chip'-l-hlu'-ku. 

80. sta'-mun i'-pi-dk. 

90. sta'-mun i'-pi-ak ko-lin'-ik clilp'-l-hlu'-ku. 
100. td-hli'-mun i'-pl-iik. 
400. yu-i'-ndm yum i-pi' . 

It will be noted that numerals above ten in the second column have 
the verb cM'-pi-tdlc, signifying "it is added," or "additional." Thus 
Jco-lffl a-tau'-tsi-muk chi'-phtol; means, literally, "to ten one is added." 
Above twenty the verb cMp'-hlu-Jcu, or chip' '-i-hlu-lcu, is used, meaning 
"is added of the next." Thus yu-i' nuk d-tau' -tsi-muk clup'-lilu-ku 
means, literally, " twenty, and one is added of the next." 

The ordinal numbers are as follows: 

First chi-dk'-hlik. 

Second kin-ok'-lillk. 

Third plh-a'-sltu-ut. 

Fourth sta'-mit. 

Fifth ta-hli'-mit. 

Sixth d-ghu-bin' '-gh u t. 

Seventh maT '-u-gliun' -ll-ghut. 

Eighth plh-ai-yun' -li-gli ut. 

Ninth ko' -lln-o-gho-tai' -lln-o-ut. 

Tenth ko' -lln-o-ut' . 

Eleventh ko-llm' chlp'-nii-gha. 

Twelfth ko'-lln miil-u-ghu'-gu-nik elup'-n'ul-ut. 

Thirteenth ko'-lin pin-ai'-yu-nik chlp'-nin-ut. 

Fourteenth ko'-lin sta'-man-lk chip' -nin-ut. 

Fifteenth ii-ki'-ml-a'-ghut. 

Sixteenth ii-ki'-m i-agm' chlp'-nxi-gha. 

Seventeenth a-ki'-mi-ak miil-u-ghu'-gu-nik chip' -nin-ut. 

Eighteenth ii-ki'-m l-dk pin-ai'-yu-nik ch ip'-n in-ut. 

Nineteenth a-ki'-mi-ak sta'-miin-ik chlp'-nln-ut. 

Twentieth a-ki'-mi-ak tii-hli'-mdn-ik chip' -nin-ut, or yu-i'-niit. 

Thirtieth yu-i'-nuk ko'-lin-ik chlp'-nin-uk. 

Fortieth miil-u-ghuk' i'-pl-a'-ghut. 

Fiftieth .,. miil-u-ghuk' i'pl-dk ko'-U-muk chlp-nln-uk. 

The numerals of repetition are: 

Once ii-tau'-tslkh ku'-miik. 

Twice mdl'-u-ghukh ku'-gu-nik. 

Three times pih-ai' -yukh ku'-nik. 

Four times sta'-mukh ku'-nik. 

Five times tii-h li'-mukh ku'-nik. 

Six times d-ghu-bin' -lukh ku'-n Ik. 

Seven times miil-u-ghun' -lukh ku'-nik. 

Eight times pln-ai-yun'-lukh ku'-nik. 

Nine times ko'-lin-o-gho-tai'-lin-okh ku'-nik. 

Ten times ko'-lln-okh ku'-nik. 


Eleven times ko'-Td a tau'-tsikh ku'-nik. 

Twelve times , ko'-la mal'-u-ghulch Tcu'-nik. 

Thirteen times ko'-la pih-ai'-yukh ku'-nik. 

Fourteen times ko'-la sta'-mukh ku'-nik. 

Fifteen times ko'-la td-hli'-miikh ku'-nik. 

Sixteen times ko'-la d-ghu-hin-lukh ku'-nik. 

Seventeen times ko'-la mdl-u-ghun' -lukh ku'-nik. 

Eighteen times ko'-la pin-ai-yun'-Mkh ku'-nik. 

Nineteen times ko'-la ko-lin-o-gho-tai' -lin-okh ku'-nik. 

Twenty times yu-i'-nukh ku'-muk. 

Thirty times yu-i'-nuk ko'-lin-ukh ku'-nik. 

Forty times mdl-u-ghuk i'-pi-Hkh kU'-muk. 

Fifty times mdV -u-ghuk i'-pi-ukh ko-lin-okh ku'-nik. 

Sixty times pin-a'-yun i'-pi-dkh ku'-nik. 

The distributive numerals are : 

One to eaeh d-iau'tsi-o kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Two to each mal'-u-ghu kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Three to each pih-a'-shu-o kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. , 

Four to each sta-mdu ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Five to each ta-hU'-man ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Six to each d-ghu-bin' -likh-kok ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Seven to each mdl-u-ghun' likh-kok ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Eight to each pin-ai' -yun-l\kh-kok ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Nine to each ko' -lin-o-gho-tai' -lin-okh' -kok ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Ten to each ko-lin-okh-kok ka'-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Eleven to each ko-ld d-tau'-tsi-muk chtp'-uinkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Twelve to each ko-ld mdl-u-ghun' -ik chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Thirteen to each ko-ld pin-ai' -yun-ik chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Fourteen to each ko-ld sta-mdn'-ik chip-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Fifteen to each ko-ld td-hli'-mdn-ik or, d-ki'-mi-dkh' ka-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Sixteen to each d-ki'-mi-dk d-tau'-tsi-niuk chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Seventeen to each d-ki'-mi-dk mdl-u-ghun' -ikh chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Eighteen to each d-ki'-mi-dk pin-ai' -yun-ik chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh -lu-ku. 

Nineteen to each d-ki'-mi-dk sta'-mdn-ik chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Twenty to each d-ki'-mi-dk td-hli'-min ik chip'-ninkh kd-ghakh' -lu-ku, or 

yu-i'-nam kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Thirty to each yu-i'-nuk ko'-lin-ik kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Forty to each mdV -u-ghu-i' -pi-a' -gh ii kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Fifty to each mdV -u-ghu-i' -pi-dk ko'-lin-ik kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Four hundred to each yu-i-num i'-pi-um kd-ghakh' -lu-ku. 

Following are a number of miscellaneous terms bearing on numeration : 

How many ? kdf'-chi-u'-iit ? 

Several kaf'-ch i- kh an . 

One only a-tau' -tsi-khuk. 

Two only mdl-ii-ghw '-khiik. 

Three only pin-ai' y it-khan. 

Four only sta' -ma-khan. 

Five only ta-hli' -ma-khan. 

Six only d-gho-hin'-li-khdn 

Seven only mdl-u-ghun' -li-kh an. 

Eight only pin-ai-yun' -li-khdn . 

Nine only ko-lih' -o-gho-tai' -Un-o-khdn. 

Ten only ko-lu'-khdn. 



Fifteen only a-ki'-mi-a'-khan. 

Twenty only y u-i' nd-khan. 

Forty only mdl'-u-gli uk i'-pi-a'-khan . 

One-half (in length) ko-kan'-ld- kin'-u-gha. 

One-half (in quantity) au-ilh'-hd, or au-ilh'-u-hnk. 

A part or portion, in length or quantity au-ukh'-iik. 

All tii in an'. 

None pi'-tuk. 

For purposes of barter four skins of the reindeer fawn — just enough 
to make a fur coat or parkie — are tied in a bunch and called a u parkie 
ol fawn skins." The following set of numerals is used in counting 
these sets of fawn skins or parkies: 

One parkie of fawn skins a-tau'-tsi-kfit. 

Two parkies of fawn skins muV-u-gJm'-i-kut. 

Three parkies of fawn skins pin-a-shu'-i-kiit. 

Four parkies of fawn skins sta-mai'-ki'it. 

Five parkies of lawn skins ta-hli' -mai-kut. 

Six parkies of fawn skins a-ghu-bin -Hkh-kiit. 

Seven parkies of fawn skins mal-H-gh iin'-likh-kiU. 

Eight parkies of fawn skins pifi-ai-yun'-likh-k&t. 

Nine parkies of fawn skins ko'-Un-o-gho-tai'-lln-okh'-kiU. 

Ten parkies of fawn skins ko'-U-kiit. 

Eleven parkies of fawn skins ko'-H-kiU a-lau'-tsi-nik chip' -i-tut. 

Twelve parkies of fawn skins ko'-li-kut mdJ-u-ghu'-i-nik chip'-i-tut. 

Thirteen parkies of lawn skins ko'-li-kut pin-a-sJiu' -i-nik chip'-i-tut. 

Fourteen parkies of fawn skins ko'-li-kut sia-mai'-nik chip'-i-tut. 

Fifteen parkies of fawn skins ko'-li-kut ta'-hli-mai'-nik chip'-i-tut, or ii-ki'-mi- 


Sixteen parkies of fawn skins a-ki' -mi-dkh-kUt a-tau-tsi'-nik clup'-i-tut. 

Seventeen parkies of fawn skins ii-ki -mi-dkh-kiit mal-u-gliu'-l-nlk cMp'-i-tiit. 

Eighteen parkies of fawn skins (i-ki'-mi-dkh-kfit jnn- a-sha'-i-nik cMp'i-tut. 

Nineteen parkies of fawn skins d-ki'-mi-dkh-ktU sta-mai'-vtk chip'-i-tut. 

Twenty parkies of fawn skins a-ki' -mi-dkh-k&t ta'-hli-mai'-nik clup'-i-tut, or 


Forty parkies of fawn skins mill 1 -ii-ghu-i' -pi-akh' -kuk. 

Sixty parkies of fawn skins pin-ai'-yun i'-pi-akh'-kuk. 

villages a:nt> houses 

The Eskimo villages of western Alaska are located with reference to 
proximity to hunting and fishing grounds and to the most favorable 
landing place for their kaiaks and umiaks that may be found. The 
sites vary greatly, from the head of some beautifully sheltered cove to 
the precipitous face of a rocky slope, as on Sledge and King islands. 
Formerly, the constant danger from hostile raids caused the people to 
choose locations for their dwellings which were easy of defense. This 
is demonstrated by the sites of ruins on the coast of Bering sea and the 
ruins of former Eskimo villages on the Arctic coast of Siberia, north- 
westward of Bering strait. 

These ancient villages were built usually on the highest points of 
islands, near the shore, or on high capes or peninsulas commanding 
18eth 16 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

a wide view over both sea and land. Formerly, as at present, the vil- 
lage was usually an irregular group of semi- subterranean houses built 
about a large central building, called by the Unalit, Jcaj'-i-gi. This term 
corresponds to the name Icashim 1 of the fur traders, which has been 
used throughout this paper to designate structures of this kind. 

These buildings are on the same general plan as the dwelling houses, 
but are much larger and are used as the central point of the village 
social life. They are ordinarily made large enough to contain all the 
villagers, besides guests that may couie during festivals. In some of 
the villages, however, where the number of inhabitants is considerable, 
two or more of these buildings are constructed. Their size is neces- 
sarily limited by the material available, which is mainly drift logs cast 
up along the shore. The people of the lower Yukon have a tradition 
that there formerly existed below Ikogmut a village that contained 
thirty- five kashiins; at present there are many villages in which there 
are two of these buildings. , 



Fig. 74 — Plan of house at St Michael. 

Snow houses, so common among the Eskimo of Greenland and other 
eastern regions, are known in Alaska only as temporary shelters erected 
by hunters when out on short excursions from their village during 
winter; they are termed an-i-gu-yuW , and their use is familiar to all of 
the Eskimo, although they are so rarely constructed. 

On Kowak river there are villages in which the Eskimo have adopted 
from their Tinne neighbors the use of conical lodges for summer use, 
and it is worthy of note that the former appear to have adopted other 
customs from the same source. On Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers the 
contrary is the case; there the Tinne have adopted many of the Eskimo 
customs and usages, while the Eskimo appear to have derived very little 
from their Tinne neighbors. 

The Eskimo of the Kuskokwim and northward to the vicinity of 
Bering strait have summer villages, built in a more or less permanent 
manner, to which they resort during the fishing season. From Kotze- 
bue sound northward the people use tents or skin lodges while at their 
fishing stations in summer. 

1 This term is derived from the word kaj'-i-gim=" my kaj'-i-gi. 




A typical dwelling house used by the people of St Michael is con- 
structed by building a rectangular framework of logs, 8 or 9 feet high 
in the middle and 5 feet at the sides; this is covered with smaller logs 
or rude slabs, over which earth is thrown to a thickness of 3 or 4 
feet, liaised platforms occupy three sides of the single room and are 
used for sleeping places, commonly by a family on each side. The front 
of the room has a low, arched doorway leading in from the outer cov- 
ered entry, which is used only in summer, when a bearskin hangs over 

Fig. 75— Storehouse at St Michael. 

the doorway as a curtain; in winter this entrance is closed and an 
underground passage or tunnel leads from the outer end of the covered 
entry way to a point below the floor just inside the summer door. The 
place on each side of the door, or an unoccupied platform on one side of 
the room, is used for the storage of bags of seal oil, wooden dishes, tubs, 
or other domestic utensils, and of articles of food. Figure 74 is a sec- 
tion plan of one of these houses. Each family has a small saucer-shape 
clay lamp burning near its platform. On the earthen floor directly 


under the smoke hole is a fireplace, where cooking is done; this usu- 
ally has a flat slab of stone set edgewise in the floor on the side toward 
the doorway to serve as a wind-break for preventing drafts from striking 
directly on the fire. 

Many of the houses are built with a long, low, covered passageway, 
used both in winter and in summer, and the underground entrance is 
omitted; some houses are very narrow and have only one wide sleeping 
bench at the rear end, where one or two families are accommodated. 

In some cases the entrance passage above ground is large enough to 
serve as a storeroom, but usually every household is the owner of a 
storehouse. Where timber is scarce, as in the country between Cape 
Vancouver and the mouth of the Kuskokwim, these are built of turf. 
At Point Barrow underground storerooms, with a trap in the roof, 
were seen. At St Michael storehouses are erected on four stout posts, 
made from drift logs, set firmly in the ground and projecting 10 or 12 
feet, forming an equal-sided quadrangle. About 5 feet from the ground 
the hewed ends of timbers are inserted to form parallel stringers, on 
which are laid roughly hewed sticks for a floor, the ends projecting 
2 or 3 feet on either side. To form the walls rough planks are fitted, 
with their ends locked by means of notches. The top is covered with 
sticks similar to the flooring, on which is placed a grass thatch or 
sometimes a covering of earth. The doorway in front, 2J to 3 feet 
square, is framed beside one of the corner posts by a roughly hewed 
cap and jamb; the door is of rough plank, on rawhide hinges, fastened 
by a stout cord. 

Outside on the projecting ends of the floor are laid the sledge, kaiak, 
and other objects belonging to the owner, while the inside serves as a 
receptacle for food supplies and other perishable articles. 

The accompanying illustration (figure 75) gives a good idea of a 
typical storehouse of this character. 

Where timber is abundant, as on the lower Yukon, these storehouses 
are more elaborately constructed, being raised from 6 to 8 feet above 
the ground, with the posts arranged and held in place in the same 
manner as in those at St Michael. The front and rear walls are made 
of well-hewed planks, set upright, with an oval door in the center of 
the front, access to which is gained by a notched log. The ends of the 
floor logs project in front far enough to support separate cross sticks, 
forming a narrow outside platform. On the sides, the planks forming 
the walls are placed horizontally. The roof has a double pitch, and is 
usually made of bark held in place by cross sticks or other weights. 
The upright planks that form the front and rear of these structures 
are held in position by crosspieces extending between the corner posts, 
as shown in plate lxxxi. 

In addition to the storehouses, every village has elevated frames 
upon which sledges and kaiaks maybe placed; this is necessary, owing 
to the uumber of dogs in every village and the danger of their eating 










the rawhide covers of the kaiaks aud the lashings of the sledges. 
These frames are formed usually of two horizontal, parallel poles, or 
small logs, raised on posts with forked ends or mortised into the 
timber, their size and strength depending on the abundance of neces- 
sary material. 

Kashims are common everywhere among the Eskimo and have been 
adopted by the adjacent Thine of lower Yukon aud Kuskokwim rivers. 
They vary in size according to the number of inhabitants in the village. 
The material used for these structures is driftwood, consisting of logs 
and poles which float down the rivers in spring and are strewn along 
their banks or carried to sea and scattered along the coast during the 
following summer. Spruce is the most common variety. The logs are 
usually deprived of their bark by friction and are seasoned by exposure. 
Logs 15 or 20 inches in diameter are not uncommon, and some are 
found reaching 30 feet in length; as a rule, however, the timbers are 
much smaller. 

In constructing a kashim the logs are laid in the form of a square 
to the height of 7 or 8 feet; from thence they are drawn in on every 
side, in alternate courses, until the last are short, and surround a square 
opening in the roof, directly over the middle of the room, and from 9 to 
12 feet above the floor, forming a frame for the smoke hole, which is 
about 2 or 2h feet in width. If the building is small, it is covered with 
a heavy layer of earth, but if large, a crib- work is built around it, held 
together by a frame, so as to inclose the building and form a double 
wall, inside of which is thrown a heavy layer of earth. 

The floor is usually of hewed planks laid close together, and occupies 
about one-third of the area of the room, in the shape of a square in the 
center; it is laid on sills at the end so that the planks can readily be 
taken up; below these there is a pit from 3 to 1 feet deep, in which the 
fire is built to heat the room for sweat baths, or at rare intervals in 
winter; but usually the heat from the bodies of the occupants keeps the 
temperature so high that they remain nude, or partly so, much of the 
time, even in winter. Other planks usually cover the ground back to 
the walls, although in many places, especially where wood is scarce, the 
floor of this portion of the room consists merely of the earth, beaten 
hard. The entrance consists of a long, roofed passage, built of logs 
and covered with earth; the outer end of this is faced with planks, 
over which is a square, round, or arched doorway leading into the room 
in summer, when it is closed only by a bearskin curtain. In winter 
this entrance, which is above the ground, is closed tightly, and a round 
hole in the floor near the outer end of the upper passage leads through 
a low tunnel, along which the people pass on their hands aud knees to 
the fire pit, and thence through a circular or oval hole to the middle of 
the room. 

These rooms are from 12 to 25 feet square. Around the inside, about 
4 feet from the floor, extends a bench, hewed from a siugle log, 15 to 18 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

inches wide and usually from 4 to 6 inches in thickness, or left half 
rounded below $ this heavy bench is supported by stout sticks placed 
diagonally across the corners of the room, and is used as a sleeping 
place, also as a seat during festivals and at other times. 

At the back of the room, supported on an upright post from 2 to 3 
feet high, a lamp is kept burning, by public contribution, at all times 
when the kashim is gloomy. A gut-skin cover is used over the smoke 
hole at all times, except when the fire is burning in the pit, or when the 
heat becomes too oppressive. 

The accompanying illustration (figure 76) shows the outside of the 
kashim at St Michael, with the long passageway of logs. A sectional 
plan of one of these buildings is given in figure 77. 

1 iu. 7(j — Kashim at JSt Michael. 

Pikmiktalik was a very populous place in the days when reindeer 
were plentiful along this coast, some ten or fifteen years previously to 
my residence in this region j but in 1878 only two or three families 
remained, and the kashim and other houses were falling to pieces. 

Pastolik, near the Yukon mouth, is the southernmost settlement of 
v he Unalit, and its buildings are typical. Ascending the Yukon and 
^fcshig several unimportant little villages, the first characteristic 
settlement of the Yukon Eskimo is reached above Andreivsky. From 
that point up the river the towns are similar to one another, consisting 
of winter houses and kashims built on the ordinary plan, and of large, 
loosely built summer houses of hewed planks on an inner framework, 
with sloping roofs. 












The village of Starikwikhpak above Andreivsky, is built on a high 
bank of the Yukon in the midst of a thick growth of tall alders and 
cotton woods, and contains about forty people. 

Next above is Eazbinsky, containing some twenty-five houses and 
two kashims. It is the largest existing village of the Yukon Eskimo, 
and the only one seen that was arranged with any degree of regu- 
larity. There the winter and summer houses are built together, and 
the rude alignment of the summer houses is evidenced in the illustra- 
tion (plate lxxxii). The summer houses front a small creek which 
flows into the Yukon at that point. Back of them, in a more regular 
arrangement, are most of the winter houses. Near one end of this 
row are two kashims, and immediately back of them is the graveyard, 
the latter forming a part of the village and becoming so offensive in 
summer that it is impossible at times for the fur traders to camp in 
the vicinity. 

The summer houses at this place and all along the Yukon up to 


FlG. 77— Section of kashim at St Michael. 

Paimut, the upper Eskimo village on the river, are alike built of heavy 
slabs and planks split and hewed from drift logs. 

Plate lxxxii, from a photograph, is a view taken at Eazbinsky in 
winter, showing the tops of some winter houses in the foreground and 
a row of plank summer houses in the background. 

The summer houses throughout this part of Alaska vary so slightly 
in the details of their construction that a description of those seen at 
Eazbinsky will serve as typical of all in that region. The front and 
rear ends are constructed of roughly hewed planks set upright; the 
sides are of horizontal timbers hewed and loosely fitted. About five 
feet from the ground a log extends from side to side of the structure, 
resting upon two posts in the middle, with braces at either end, hav- 
ing their ends set in the ground, and connected by similar logs which 
extend from front to rear along the eaves. 

In some houses the braces at the front and rear are replaced by two 
tall poles set in the ground midway between the corners, two or three 


yards apart and projecting several feet above the top of the roof. 
Lengthwise over the top of the house extend hewed sticks which hold 
in position the upright posts and the logs that bind the upright planks. 

The use of crosspieces fastened at each end to the top of upright 
timbers is a common method adopted by the Eskimo of Norton sound 
and the lower Yukon for binding the framework of their structures. 
Braces, which fit into a notch in an upright post with the other end 
planted in the ground, are also commonly used. Sometimes the walls 
of summer houses are built with upright sticks all around, as can be 
seen at Ikogmut, but more commonly the ends are formed of upright 
pieces and the sides of timbers laid horizontally. The inner frame- 
work is bound together by withes or wooden pins and held in place at 
the eaves by joists, across which are thrown poles or planks, forming 
an open attic or platform for the storage of dried fish and other arti- 
cles of food, nets, and various implements. The roof is double-pitched 
and covered with slabs or planks over which pieces of bark are laid. 
Along the sides of the room, at from one to three feet above the floor, are 
broad sleeping platforms, which accommodate from one to three fami- 
lies. In the front, a foot or two above the ground, a semilunar piece 
is cut from each of two adjoining planks, forming an oval doorway 
about three feet high. Small square or round windows, a few inches in 
diameter, are sometimes cut in the walls near the sleeping platforms. 
There is also plenty of ventilation from other directions, as very little 
effort is made to prevent the wind from circulating freely through the 
numerous cracks. 

Plate lxxxi, which represents the storehouses at Ikogmut, shows 
also one of these summer houses in the background. 

In the winter of 1880 the people at Paimut were found living in their 
summer houses on a high bank overlooking the Yukon, and I was told 
that their winter village on the island in the river had been swept 
away by high water the season before. 

At Chukwhuk, just above Ikogmut, the winter houses, as is usual in 
this district, were arranged with the sleeping platforms raised about 
three feet from the ground, leaving space below for storing supplies. 
The house at which I stopped was supplied with three of these plat- 
forms, each having its oil lamp on an upright post. Near one lamp a 
woman was making a pair of ornamented gloves, and by another lamp 
a woman was braiding a straw mat. 

At a village in the Big-lake district, lying in the strip of country 
between the two nearest points of lower Y r ukon and Kuskokwim rivers, 
the houses were of the ordinary kind, except that they were rather 
smaller than on the Yukon and had extraordinarily long entrance 

At the base of Kuslevak mountains the houses were made of smaller 
timbers, brought a long distance from the coast in boats, or of a 
light framework of short, crooked alder trunks covered with brush 


from the banks of the streams in the neighborhood. These houses were 
very small and depended for their strength partly upon the hard, frozen 
covering of earth. Igiogagamut, a village lying between Kuslevak 
mountains and Gape Komanzof, consisted of several small hovels of this 
kind. Their interior plan was as near the usual type as the material 
would allow, as the rooms were only 4J feet high to the small, square 
smoke holes, which were covered with sheets of clear ice about 4 inches 
thick instead of with the usual gut skin. From the smoke holes the walls 
sloped to the ground, making inclosures from 12 to 15 feet in diameter. 
These places were crowded with people. On the earthen floors were 
layers of soft, decaying garbage of every description, from which the 
heat arising from the crowded human bodies evolved a sickening odor. 

Near Cape Romanof was a summer fishing village of four houses, 
which looked like so many mounds, about 6 feet high. We found them 
to be built entirely above ground and of split drift logs, held up in the 
usual manner and covered with earth. A square opening 3 feet high 
in one wall served as a door, entering directly into the room, and the 
square smoke hole in the roof formed the only other aperture. Sleep- 
ing platforms were rudely made on the earthen floor. 

Askinuk, south of Cape Eomanzof, is built on the top of an earthen 
mound which rises about 15 feet above the level of the surrounding 
country. The present village covers nearly the entire top of this mound. 
The inhabitants say that this elevation has accumulated from the long 
occupancy of the spot by their people, and its present appearance 
would seem to justify the assertion. 

The houses are clustered together in the most irregular manner, and 
the entrances to the passageways leading to the interiors open out in 
the most unexpected places. Sometimes one of these passages opens 
on the top of another house built lower down on the side of the mound, 
or, it may be, between two houses, or almost against the side of an 
adjoining one. Near by is a very extensive graveyard, which has some 
interesting burial places, but my visit was too brief to enable me to 
examine it carefully. 

The Askinuk kashim is like those at the next village to the south, 
called Kushunuk. At this place there are two kashims, the smaller one 
being about 30 by 30 feet on the floor and 20 feet high at the smoke 
hole. The walls are of split logs placed vertically, with their plane 
faces inward and resting at their upper ends against the logs which 
form the framework of the roof; the floor is of heavy hewed planks. 
Extending around the room on the floor, and about 3£ feet from the 
walls, are small logs, serving to mark off the sleeping places of the 
men and at the same time as head rests, the sleepers lying with their 
heads toward the middle of the room. Three feet above and inches 
nearer the walls other logs extend around the room, with planks 
between them and the sides, affording a broad sleeping bench, sup- 
ported in the middle by upright posts and at each end inserted in the 



[EIH. ANN. 18 

wall of the structure. The roof is made by the usual arrangement 
of logs forming a rectangular pyramid with a flat top, in the middle of 
which is the smoke hole. The entrance passage is unusually high 
and roomy, opening directly into the kashim above ground by means 
of a round hole in the front of the wall. 

In winter the entrance is through a hole in the floor of the entrance 
passage, thence through the underground tunnel as usual to an exit 
hole, which has on each side a walrus tusk with the point and base 
sunk into the plank and the curve upward, affording convenient hand- 
rests when going in and out and preventing the necessity of placing 
the hands on the wet planks at the side of the hole. The plan of this 
kashim is shown in figure 78. 

In addition to the kashims, the village contained about twenty 
houses, accommodating about one hundred and twenty-five people. It 

Fig. 78 — Section of kashim at KusLumuk. 

is built in a straggling manner on a slightly rising piece of ground, 
with elevated storehouses and raised frameworks for the boats and 
sledges. The entire area covered is about a quarter of a mile in 
length. Nearer the sea is the site of an ancient village that was 
occupied by the ancestors of these people. 

To the southward of this place the next village was Kaialigamut, 
which contained about one hundred people and two kashims. The 
houses and kashims were like those of the last two villages described, 
except that the kashims were smaller and were provided with a second 
and narrower shelf above the first sleeping benches, on which the men 
placed their clothing and other belongings. 

The early Russian traders who visited this district say that the peo- 
ple in these large villages had underground passageways leading from 
the kashim to adjacent houses, for use in case of sudden attack by an 
enemy. A Russian told me that he once discovered a passage of this 


kind from the kasbim to an ancient house and from there to another 
house. It was further stated that in those days the people made their 
houses larger, so that they could use their bows in them for repelling 
an attack by the enemy. 

The village of Ukagamut, near Mount Robert Lincoln, contained 
about twenty people. The huts were extremely small, owing to the scar- 
city of wood. The interiors were excessively filthy and permeated with 
the stench of decaying animal matter. The smoke holes were covered 
with slabs of ice, and the floors were several inches deep with an oozy 
mass of refuse. The dried iish stored in the houses and used for food 
was covered with blue and green mold, and the entire place was the 
most miserable that I saw in that region. The inhabitants were suf- 
fering from skin diseases and from the attacks of an ailment resembling- 

Tununuk was a summer village on Cape Vancouver at the time of my 
visit in December, 1879. A few people were found wintering there. 
Wood was scarce and the houses were small aud filthy. 

South of this point wood was so scarce that in several villages there 
was none for making elevated storehouses, and for that purpose small 
huts were built of turf cut into slabs and laid up in walls, which were 
frozen solid and covered with flat roofs of the same material. The 
doors, which were the only openings, consisted of slabs of frozen turf 
about 2h by 3 feet and 4 inches thick. At one village I saw about 
twenty of these huts, all of which were 4 or 5 feet high and from to 8 
feet in diameter. 

In the second village south of Cape Vancouver the houses were 
made of turf slabs laid up about the frail framework of small sticks 
and brush aud covered with earth. This had been wet and frozen so 
that the walls were very firm, but the people stated that they would 
leave them early in the spring, for as soon as warm weather began the 
walls would melt and fall in. 

The smoke holes of the houses in all this district were covered with 
slabs of ice, from which the heat inside continually caused water to 
drop down the walls, rendering the floor a soft and sticky mass except 
in the coldest weather. 

From Cape Vancouver to the Kuskokwim the land is very low, and 
whenever the wind blows a gale in shore the coast villages are in dan- 
ger of being flooded. The day before my arrival at Chalitmut the sea 
flowed inland and rose to a depth of three feet over the floor of the 
kashim; the people who were caught inside made a hole in the roof, to 
which they crept and stayed for hours, until the water had subsided. 
Every few years the ice sweeps away one or more villages in this district, 
causing loss of life. 

At Chichinagamut, in this district, a heavy rain fell during my stay, 
and the water came into the kashim from the surrounding drainage so 
that it was 18 inches deep in the tunnel-like entrance passage and had 



[ETH. ANN. 18 


to be baled out twice a day. The kashim was very small and low, with 
no floor except the beaten earth ; the fire pit in the middle of the room 
was in the depression which began at the walls and sloped gradually 
toward the center. This central depression was full of water, and 
the entire floor was covered except for a narrow border about four feet 
wide around the sides. In this kashim two lamps were burning upon 
supports, one on each side of the room. These supports were rudely 
carved in the form of a human face, representing quite a different type 
from the countenances of the people, and constituted the only attempt 
at such work that I saw among the Eskimo (figure 79). When the 
Kuskokwim was reached the abundance of driftwood was shown by 
the larger size of the houses and kashims, and by the presence of ele- 
vated storehouses and frames for sleds and boats. 

From St Michael northward along the coast of the mainland there 

existed a much greater variety of houses than 
had been noted to the southward of that 
place. From St Michael to Unaktolik, in- 
cluding Kigiktauik,Unalaklit, and Shaktolik, 
with a few smaller places, the houses are of 
the type general among the Unalit, as the 
people belong mainly to that group. 

Tup-hanikwa, north of Unalaklit, had in 
February, 1S80, a single house, which was 
occupied by three families. The single room 
was 10 by 12 feet in dimension and about 5J 
feet high. On the night of my visit sixteen 
adults slept on the earthen floor of this small 

At the villages of Atnuk and Nubviukh- 
chugaluk the houses were large, well made, 
and provided with a floor of hewed planks; 
the sleeping platforms were raised about 18 
inches above the floor. 
In March, 1880, the village of Ignituk, near Cape Darby, contained 
about one hundred and fifty people. It was built at the mouth of a 
small canyon leading down to the sea, and the lower houses were on the 
upper edge of an abrupt slope 40 or 50 feet above the beach, where were 
arranged on sleds the kaiaks of the villagers ready for seal hunting on 
the sea ice. The houses had plank floors and broad sleeping benches. 
They were built with a small, square anteroom, which was used as a 
storeroom for provisions, and from it a passage about 3 feet high and 
10 to 20 feet in length led to the round hole giving access to the living 
room. This hole was either in the end of the passage opening through 
the wall of the room just above the floor, or through the floor inside 
the front wall. In the middle of the floor the rdanks were laid so that 
they could be taken up, as is done in the kashims. Close to the fire- 

FlG. 79 — Carved lamp support. 




place, between it and the door, was a large flat slab of stone placed on 
edge to protect the fire from the draft. Some of the houses had two 
sleeping platforms, one above the other, the lower one raised very little 
above the floor and the other about three feet above it. Plans of two 
of these houses are shown in figures 80 and 81. 

On the long strip of low, sandy coast, between Ignituk and Cape 
Nome, were located a number of small houses, which were used by the 
people while snaring marmots (Spermophilus parryi) in spring, or 
when salmon fishing in summer. These summer houses, or shelters, 
were conical lodges, made by standing up sticks of driftwood in a 

Fig. 80 — Section of house at Ignituk. 

close circle, with their tops leaning together, forming a structure like 
an Indian tipi; they were built by first lashing together three pieces 
of wood and setting them up like a tripod, the others being leaned 
against them to complete the rude structure. On the inside a rough 
sleeping platform was supported on four corner stakes at the back of 
the room. A narrow vacant space between two of the logs, forming 
the wall, served as a doorway. 

In the village on the north side of Cape Nome the houses were built 
very much like those of Ignituk, but varied in some particulars. 

Fig. 81— Section of house at Ignituk. 

They were constructed of driftwood, with an outer storeroom, which 
was entered through a hole in the roof, access to which was gained by 
means of a notched ladder. From this storeroom was a passage about 
three feet high, which ended in a hole leading through the wall directly 
onto the plank floor of the living room, which had a sleeping bench 
about four feet from the floor, and* below this the floor was usually occu- 
pied for the same purpose. Leading from the entrance storeroom 
were one or two other passages communicating with other living rooms, 
and on one side a short passage opened into a room about 8 by 10 feet 
in dimension and G or 7 feet in height, which served as a cooking room 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

for the group of families living iii the structure. No fires were ever lit 
iu the living rooms. The sectional plan of one of these houses is shown 
in figure 82, and a ground plan in figure 83. 

On Sledge island the winter village was perched on a steep slope, 
facing the sea, and well above the water. The houses were set one 

Fig. 82— Section of house at Cape Koine. 

back of the other on the slope of the rocky talus that extends up to 
the Lop of the high bluff; they were built on the plan of those at Cape 
Nome, above described, except that the storeroom usually opened on a 
level with the ground in front, instead of through the roof. In July, 
1881, this village was almost deserted, as the people were on the adja- 
cent mainland engaged in salmon fishing. 

In all the last-named villages elevated frameworks for boats and 
sledges were numerous; in those where the floors were made of hewed 



Fig. 83 — Ground plan of house at Cape Nome. 

planks, long use had worn them smooth and the inmates were careful 
to keep them clean, sweeping them as often as necessary with a little 
wisp of twigs. 

King island, in Bering strait, is a rugged mass of granite rising 
sheer from the water for hundreds of feet on three sides, and on the 


fourth side, where the village is located, it is very difficult to make a 
lauding. In July, 1881, the Corwin anchored a few hundred yards off 
the shore; the rugged granite walls rose in sharp, serrated, angular 
slopes almost perpendicularly from the edge of the water to the village 
and thence upward to the high crest. Along the edge of the water 
great granite bowlders added to the difficulty of landing, thence up 
to the village a broken path zigzagged sharply up the jagged slope. 
From the vessel the village presented the appearance of a cluster of 
cliff- swallows' nests on the face of the island, the entrances to the 
houses looking like rounded black holes among the granite bowlders 
used for their walls. As the anchor chain went rattling out, the peo- 
ple, who had been watching us from the houses, gave a loud shout and 
ran down to the water, leaping from rock to rock and looking like pig- 
mies, so dwarfed were they by the gigantic background. 

The winter houses at this place were made by excavating the loose 
rocks, thus forming a deep niche in the steep slope, and by walling up 
the front and sides with stones placed over a driftwood framework. 
Access to these houses was gained by a long, arched stone passage- 
way, which sloped from the outer entrance in and up to a hole in the 
plank floor. The inside of the living rooms were arranged with plank 
floor and benches, just as on Sledge island, but there were no outer 
storerooms or cooking rooms in the passageway. Driftwood was abun- 
dant there, but the principal material used for covering the houses was 
broken granite. 

The summer houses were remarkable structures; they were square 
inclosures, made wholly of tanned walrus hide, with a slightly arched 
roof of walrus skins drawn snugly over the wooden framework and 
lashed firmly in place. The houses were elevated and held in place 
by a framework which consisted of two main poles standing upright 
with their bases fastened among the rocks and connected by a wooden 
crossbar lashed to them 10 or 20 feet from the ground. From this 
crossbar other bars extended on a level back to the slope of the hill, 
where they were made fast. The floor was of roughly hewed planks, 
and at the back rested against the face of the hill. From the hillside 
a plank extended to one of the corners of the house, aud a little plank 
walk passed thence around the side of the house to the front, being 
railed by a pole lashed, at about the height of a man's hand, to uprights 
set in the rocks. On the seaward side was a circular opening, which 
served as a combined door and window. Figure 84 represents one of 
these summer houses. 

In some of these houses one corner was walled off from the room with 
walrus hide as a square inclosure to serve as a sleeping room. In one 
of the houses the entire rear half was walled across and again subdi- 
vided by a walrus-skin partition, forming two sleeping rooms, entrance 
to which was given by a round hole cut in the skin. Each of these 
inner rooms served for a family, aud contained their bedding and 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

various small possessions, the longer outer room being a general sit- 
ting and work room and a receptacle for dried fish and other stores. 
The translucent walrus hides rendered these houses very light, and 
they were kept quite clean. In summer fresh meat and fish were kept 
in a great cleft in the cliff close to the landing place, and accessible 
only from the water. There were various elevated frameworks here 
for storing the boats. 

On the larger Diomede island, in the middle of Bering strait, the vil- 
lages differed in several respects from those of the King islanders. 



Fig. 84 — Walrus skin summer house on King island. 

The summer houses were built among the winter dwellings, and were 
above ground, with stone walls and gravel -covered roofs. An arched 
stone passage, similar to those of the winter houses, but shorter, led to the 
living room. With the exception of being less carefully built to exclude 
water, these summer houses were very similar to those used in winter. 
Kaised on four posts over or very near the entrance to each summer 
house was a storehouse, the supporting posts and framework of which 
were made from driftwood, and the sides and roofs of walrus hide, like 
the elevated houses on King island. 




At Cape Prince of Wales, on the American shore of Bering strait, 
there were two villages. One near the hill at the southern side of tbe 
cape was called the "hill village," and the other, located on the flat, was 
called the "spit village." They were separated by a space of about 75 
yards. The houses were built of driftwood covered with earth, and 
were very similar to those of the Diomede islands. The people of 
these two villages had a standing feud that occasionally broke into 
open quarrels. Those of the "spit village" were the most aggressive, 
and were hated and feared by the others. 

Crossing the strait a large Eskimo village was found on the point of 
East cape, Siberia. This was built on a steep slope fronting the sea, 
and its dome-shape houses with small outer openings gave it the 
same appearance of being a cluster of cliff swallows' nests that we had 

Fig. 85— Eskimo village at East cape, Siberia. 

noticed on our approach to King island. From the anchorage fifty four 
occupied houses were counted; these must have contained over two 
hundred and fifty people. 

Just around the cape, to the north, was a village of equal size, which 
was not visited. The village on the point was built on a slope of loose 
granite fragments inclined at such an angle that there was space for 
only a narrow trail in front of most of the houses, and then a sharp 
descent of some yards. The houses consisted of a stone wall laid up 
two or three feet from the ground, in oval form, and continued in the 
shape of an arched or open-top entrance passage three or four yards 
long, as shown in figure 85. 

Upon this stone wall was a framework of whale ribs arched to a com- 
mon point over one side of the entrance, where they were met by the 
18 etii 17 


jawbone of a whale, the upper end of which was slightly curved inward 
to meet the ribs crossed oil the top. The jawbone, held in place by 
lashings and heavy stones, was thus made to sustain the weight of the 
structure. Over this framework tanned walrus hides were laid and 
secured by lashings and heavy stones or whale vertebra? attached to the 
ends of cords. The front part of the room was used for storing various 
articles of food and property, and the rear part was supplied with pologs, 
or small rooms, made by sewing reindeer skins into the form of a cov- 
ered square or rectangular box without a bottom, about 7 or 8 by 10 or 
12 feet square and about 4 feet high, which were held in place by raw- 
hide ropes extending from each upper corner and the middle of the 
sides to the framework of the roof. Iu this way very close, warm rooms 
were made inside the house, in which, on a small raised platform of 
planks or beaten earth, the beds were placed. Each family had its own 
polog. Wood seemed, to be very scarce among these people. The 
illustration shows the situation of the village and the position of the 
houses. The elevated platform on the right, for sleds and boats, is 
made of whales' jawbones (figure 85). 

Scattered along the hillside among the occupied houses were the 
remains of many ruined houses, which were similar in character to the 
dwellings seen on the Dioinede islands — partly underground, with 
external stone walls — and a very large number of pits showed the sites 
of still older houses. It was evident that in earlier times these people 
had used underground houses exclusively, but more recently had 
abandoned them and built their dwellings in the manner described. 

At Plover bay, on the same coast, the village consisted mainly 
of walrus-hide huts similar to those at East cape, except that they 
had no stone walls about the bases, and the frames were composed of 
driftwood instead of whale ribs; but the interior arrangement of deer- 
skin pologs was the same. The illustration (plate lxxxiii a), from a 
photograph, will give an idea of the exterior of these houses. 

A few small, half underground houses of driftwood and whalebones 
covered with earth in the regular Eskimo style, were found here. On 
the northern side of the mouth of the bay a zigzag path leads high up 
on the bluffs to a rock-walled shelter used as a lookout to watch for 
whales or for vessels at sea. 

This village is not very populous, and through the introduction of 
whisky and of various diseases by the whalers, who call here every 
season, the Eskimo at this point are in a fair way to become extinct. 
The accompanying illustration (plate lxxxiv) represents two women 
from this locality. 

St Lawrence island had several large and populous villages previous 
to the year 1 879. During the winter of 1879-'80 a famine, accompanied 
by disease, caused the death of at least two-thirds of the entire popu- 
lation of the island, and several villages were completely depopulated. 

During the summer of 1881 I visited these villages on the revenue 









cutter Coricin, and found the tundra surrounding the village sites cov- 
ered with corpses of the inhabitants 5 and dozens of them were still 
lying where they had died in the houses. 

In two villages at the southwestern end of the island were several 
summer houses of walrus skin, like those used at Plover bay, and 
various winter houses. These latter were framed with the jawbones 
and ribs of whales, which were planted in the ground, arching in at the 
top, forming an oval framework supporting the roof. The latter was 
made of similar bones with a little driftwood added, and the entire 
structure was covered with earth. Owing to the scarcity of material 
these houses were small and rude, but were very similar to buildings 
on the northern shore of Norton sound. 

Close by the winter houses were elevated storehouses, upheld on four 
jawbones of whales planted upright in the ground. Most of the 
summer houses were framed of long strips of bone sawed lengthwise 
from whales' jaws, with one end planted in the ground and the other 
bent over toward a stout jawbone of a whale standing upright in the 
ground, on one side of the oval area inclosed 
by the bone strips. Alternating with these 
strips were whale ribs, which also curved 
over toward the upright post. The frame 
pieces were planted very shallowly in the 
ground and were held steady by a rock 
weighing over 100 pounds, which was hung 
from the post-like jawbone which formed 
the main strength of the structure. An 
idea of these frames is given by the accom- 
panying sketch (figure 80). 

The interior of these summer houses 
measured about 20 feet in diameter, and were supplied with pologs 
made of reindeer skins sewed together and suspended from the roof, 
as is done on the Siberian coast. Exteriorly they were covered with 
walrus skins, which were lashed on and held in place by heavy weights 
of stone, driftwood, and bones, to prevent their being toppled over by 
the frequent gales. 

In a large village on the northern shore of the island, where all the 
inhabitants had perished, I found many similar summer houses, also 
some partly subterranean winter houses, differing from any others seen 
in this region. They were roofed with whalebones and driftwood, over 
which was the usual layer of earth. Over the outer end of the passage- 
way was a roofed, stockaded shelter made of driftwood, with one side 
or a part of one side left open, facing away from the direction of the 
prevailing wind. These shelters were from 5 to 8 feet across and about 
5 or G feet high. In the floor opened a square hole, giving access to the 
passageway, which was 2 or 3 feet high and from 50 to 75 feet in length 
and built wholly underground. In several instances they were curved 

Fig. 8G- 

House frame of whale ribs 
and jawbone. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

laterally or turned at an angle, as if to cut off a draft; but it is possible 
this may have been caused by starting at both ends of the tunnel when 
excavating it and failing to meet in a direct line. The houses had two 
sets of broad sleeping benches on the right and left sides of the room. 
Over the center of the floor was a square hole in the roof; just back of 

Fig. 87— Section of house on St Lawrence island. 

this a round opening had been made, in which was fitted a large ver- 
tebra of a whale hollowed out to form a short cylinder, serving as a 
smoke hole or ventilator, wbich could be left open during stormy 
weather when the larger opening was covered. The accompanying 
section of one of these houses (figure 87) explains the method of their 

-v \ \ 

• . 

i%s»Mt» . 

— L 


: jawrrtgf: a rnvfroigr 

Fig. 88 — Summer camp at Hothani inlet. 

At Cape Espenberg, on Kotzebue sound, in July, 1881, we found a 
camp of traveling Malemut. They had several low, round-top tents, 3J 
to 4 feet high and G to 7 feet wide, made of drilling drawn over slender 
poles crossed and bent, with their ends thrust into the ground. One 
conical lodge, also covered with drilling, was about 10 feet high and 8 
leet in diameter on the ground. 







At Hotb am inlet, near the head of Kotzebne sound, on the 15th of 
July of the same year, a large gathering of Eskimo from Kowak and 
Noatak rivers was seen. They were living in a row of conical lodges 
extending in a line for more than a mile along a low, sandy spit par- 
allel to the shore of the sound. Figure SS, from a photograph, illus- 
trates this camp for the season of 1881. This camp was arranged with 
almost military precision ; along the beach, above high-water mark, 
with their sterns to the sea, were ranged between sixty and seventy 
umiaks, turned with the bottom upward and toward the prevailing 
wind, tilted on one rail, the other being supported on two sticks 3J to 
4 feet fong. Seventy-five yards back from the umiaks, in a line parallel 
to the beach, were ranged over two hundred kaiaks, supported about 
three feet from the ground on low trestles made of branching stakes. 
Below each kaiak, supported on a rest 3 or 4 inches above the ground, 
was the set of spears, paddles, etc, belonging to the boat. The kaiaks 
were all of the long, slender 
pattern common at Kotze- 
bue sound, and were ranged 
parallel to each other, point- 
ing toward the sea, in a line 
with the umiaks. Fifty 
yards back from the kaiaks, 
and ranged in aline parallel 
with them, were the conical 
lodges occupied by the peo- 
ple; they were framed by 
slender poles standing in a 
circle, with the upper ends 
meeting and held in place 
by a strong wooden hoop 
lashed to the poles with 

rawhide cord midway between the ground and the top. The accom- 
panying sketch ( figure 89) shows the manner of arranging the framework. 

The frames were about 10 feet high and from 12 to 15 feet in diam- 
eter at the base; they were covered with un tanned winter deerskins 
sewed into squares containing about six deerskins, which were thrown 
over the framework with the hair outward. Several of these squares 
were necessary for each lodge. In some cases the deerskins were cov- 
ered with a large sheet of drilling or calico, as shown in plate lxxxiii b. 
Behind the lodges were stakes to which each family had tied its dogs, 
fastened so as to be just out of reach of each other. 

This was a summer trading camp of these people, and contained 
from six to eight hundred persons. Figure 90 shows the plan of the 

In size and methodical arrangement this camp presented a very 
striking appearance and was the only one I ever saw in which the 

Fig. 89— Frame for summer lodge, Hotham inlet. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

Eskimo had followed a deliberate plan. The large number of boats, 
and the necessity for having clear space to enable each crew to launch 
without interfering with its neighbors, must have brought about this 
plan, which could not have been improved, as the entire camp could 
embark and paddle to a trading vessel in less than five minutes. 


1 v ^' \J 

Fio. 90 — Arrangement of summer camp at Hotham inlet. 

This was a temporary camp which is located here for a few weeks 
each summer for the purpose of trading with vessels which cruise in 
these waters, as well as for meeting and trading with the people from 
both shores of Bering strait. 

At Point Hope, just north of Kotzebue sound, was found a large 
Eskimo village, containing between three hundred and four hundred peo- 
ple, living in conical summer lodges. The winter village of semi-subter- 
ranean houses was on the outer edge of the cape, the summer village 

being nearer the mainland. 

Near Cape Thompson was 
found a small party of peo- 
ple, from Point Hope, who 
were on their way up the 
coast and were waiting here 
for better weather. They 
were living in conical lodges 
covered with a patchwork 
of sealskins sewed together. 
The entrance to each lodge 
was through a square hole 
in one side, about two feet 
from the ground, as shown 
in the accompanying illus- 
tration (figure 91). 
At Cape Lisburne was found another camp of Point Hope people on 
their way northward Two photographs of this camp were obtained, 
from one of which plate lxxxv was drawn. This camp had the usual 
conical lodges, some of them being round-topped like those seen at 
Cape Espenberg. 

Fig. 91 — Summer lodge at Cape Thompson. 











Just north of Cape Lisburne three or four winter houses were seen, 
but it could not be determined whether they were occupied. 

Near Icy cape were several summer camps of Point Barrow people. 
They were living in conical lodges, many of which were covered with 
canvas taken from wrecked whaling vessels. In front of each camp 
was erected a stout post from 12 to 20 feet high, notched on the sides 
for convenience in climbing. Near the top was a crossbar, used as a 
seat or perch. The coast in this part of the district is very flat and 
low, and these posts are used as lookout points whence the people are 
able to see the " blowing" of whales or the approach of ships. As we 
passed by the shore each post was usually occupied by a man who 
waved his shirt to induce us to stop. 

From here to Point Barrow were several similar summer camps of 
from two to ten lodges each. At Point Barrow the winter houses were 
of the ordinary half underground type with a long, tunnel-like entrance 
way; scarcity of driftwood had necessitated the use of whale ribs and 
jawbones in framing these houses. At this point the storehouses for 
meat were built very nearly in the style of the winter houses, except 
that the only entrance was by a trapdoor in the roof, so that they 
were really half- underground cellars. 

Near the winter houses were platforms 6 to 8 feet above the ground, 
on which were stored spears, nets, and various hunting and household 
paraphernalia. At the time of our visit in August the inhabitants 
were living in conical lodges. 


Ruins of ancient Eskimo villages are common on the lower Yukon and 
thence along the coast line to Point Barrow. On the Siberian shore 
they were seen from East cape along the Arctic coast to Cape Wanka- 
rem. Various circumstances prevented the recording of more than a 
few superficial notes in regard to them, which are here inserted for the 
purpose of bringing them to the attention of future workers in that 
region. On the shore of the bay on the southern side of St Michael 
island I dug into an old village site where saucer- shape pits indicated 
the places formerly occupied by houses. The village had been burned, 
as was evident from the numerous fragments of charred timbers mixed 
with the soil. In the few cubic feet of earth turned up at this place 
were found a slate fish knife, an ivory spearhead, a doll, and a toy dish, 
the latter two cut from bark. The men I had with me from the village 
at St Michael became so alarmed by their superstitious feelings that 
I was obliged to give up the idea of getting further aid from them in 
this place. I learned afterward that this village had been built by 
people from Pastolik, at the mouth of the Yukon, who went there to 
fish and to hunt seals before the Russians came to the country. 

On the highest point of Whale island, which is a steep islet just off- 
shore near the present village of St Michael, were the ruins of a 


kasliim and of several houses. The St Michael people told me that this 
place was destroyed, long before the Eussians came, by a war party from 
below the Yukon mouth. The sea has encroached upon the islet until 
a portion of the land formerly occupied by the village has been washed 
away. The permanently frozen soil at this place stopped us at the 
depth of about two feet. Here, and at another ancient Unalit village 
site which was examined superficially, we found specimens of bone and 
ivory carvings which were very ancient, as many of them crumbled to 
pieces on being exposed. 

Along the lower Yukon are many indications of villages destroyed 
by war parties. According to the old men these parties came from 
Askiuuk and Kushunuk, near the Kuskokwim, as there was almost 
constant warfare between the people of these two sections before the 
advent of the Russians. 

Both the fur traders and the Eskimo claim that there are a large 
number of house sites on the left bank of the Yukon, a few miles below 
Ikogmut. This is the village that the Yukon Eskimo say had 35 
kashims, and there are many tales relating to the period when it was 
occupied. At the time of my Yukon trips this site was heavily cov- 
ered with snow, and I could not see it; but it would undoubtedly well 
repay thorough excavation during the summer months. One of the 
traditions is that this village was built by people from Bristol bay, 
joined by others from Nunivak island and Kushunuk. One informant 
said that a portion of this village was occupied up to 1848, when the 
last inhabitants died of smallpox, but whether or not this is true I was 
unable to learn. 

Another informant told me that near the entrance of Goodnews bay, 
near the mouth of the Kuskokwim, there is a circular pit about 75 feet 
in diameter, marking the former site of a very large kashim. A few 
miles south of Shaktolik, near the head of Norton sound, I learned of the 
existence of a large village site. Both the Eskimo and the fur traders 
who told me of this said that the houses had been those of Shaktolik 
people, and that some of them must have been connected by under- 
ground passageways, judging from the ditch-like depressions from one 
to the other along the surface of the ground. The Shaktolik men who 
told me this said that there were many other old village sites about 
there and that they were once inhabited by a race of very small people 
who have all disappeared. 

From the Malemut of Kotzebue sound and adjacent region I learned 
that there are many old village sites in that district. Many of these 
places were destroyed by war parties of Tinne from the interior, accord- 
ing to the traditions of the present inhabitants. 

On Elephant point, at the head of Kotzebue sound, I saw the site of 
an old village, with about fifteen pits marking the locations of the 
houses. The pits sloped toward the center and showed by their out- 
lines that the houses had been small and roughly circular, with a short 




passageway leading into them, the entire structure having been partly 

The Eskimo of East cape, Siberia, said that there were many old 
village sites along the coast in that vicinity. These houses had stone 
foundations, many of which are still in place. There is a large ruined 
village of this kind near the one still occupied on the cape. 

On the extreme point of Cape Wankarem, and at its greatest eleva- 
tion, just above the present camp of the reindeer Chukchi, a series of 
three sites of old Eskimo villages were found. The accompanying 
sketch map of the cape shows the relative sites of these villages, and 
also indicates another fact which may give a slight clew to the age of 
one of them. 

Fig. 92— Sites of ancient villages at Cape Wankarem, Siberia. 

Number 1 is the site of a village which at present contains the ruins 
of three houses; other houses have evidently been washed away by the 
encroachment of the sea. These three houses are of mound shape, with 
a pit or depression in the middle, and a trench-like depression lead- 
ing out from each of them toward the sea shows the position of the 
entrance passage. Numerous ribs and jawbones of whales lie scattered 
about, and the decaying end of a whale's jawbone, projecting through 
the top of one of the mounds, shows the material used in framing them. 

Number 2 represents a series of live similar house sites, facing the 
dotted area on the sketch map; and at number 3 is indicated still 
another series of ten house sites like the preceding, all unquestionably 
of Eskimo origin. 

Number 4 is the site of the present Chukchi camp, consisting of skin 
lodges, as we found it at the time of our visit. No recent whale bones 


were seen about the Chukchi camp, but there were many vertebrae and 
other bones gathered from the ruins of the Eskimo houses. A man 
was seen digging up a whale's jawbone from one of the old house sites, 
and there were evidences that many others had been removed in the 
same manner by the present inhabitants. 

During repeated visits made to these ruins I was impressed by 
several circumstances which may serve to shed light on their age, as 
shown by the following observations: 

Villages 1 and 2 are on a high knoll which rises like an island from 
the low, flat shore, the sides sloping down to the narrow, pebble-cov- 
ered neck of land (at 7) which separates a lagoon on one side from the 
open sea on the other. Number 4 is on higher ground than the neck at 
number 7, and is made up of sand and gravel. Number 5 is the present 
seashore or water line. Number 6 is a well-marked ancient water line, 
close to the edge of which was built the village marked 3. There is 
a gravelly beach between the present and former water ljnes. Number 
7 is a pebble-covered beach, probably two feet above extreme high water 
line at present. 

It will be noticed that number 2 fronts directly upon 7 and is located 
exactly as an Eskimo village would be placed if 7 were an open chan- 
nel. The western Eskimo have an almost invariable custom of build- 
ing their villages facing the water and parallel with the shore line. I 
think it may safely be stated that none of these people ever placed a 
village site in the relation to the sea that the site of number 2 now bears, 
and it consequently follows, almost as a demonstrated fact, that village 
number 2 was built and occupied when 7 was an open waterway, sepa- 
rating the high knoll of Gape Wankarem from the mainland and thus 
forming it into an island. 

I think number 2 marks the most ancient of the villages, for number 
3 is so placed in regard to the ancient beach (6) that it could not have 
been safely inhabited until the sea came to occupy nearly its present 
water line. I should conclude that the land had been raised about 
three feet from its ancient level at the time the water line stood at 6, 
when village number 3 was occupied. The gradual upraising of the 
coast must have made village number 2 untenable and caused the 
people to change to number 3, that and number 1 probably being the 
last villages occupied by the Eskimo, who had disappeared from this 
part of the coast before the historical period. 

The severity of the Arctic climate on this bleak coast renders it very 
difficult, if not impossible, to make an estimate of any value (basing cal- 
culations upon the decay of perishable articles) as to the length of time 
that has elapsed since an ancient site was occupied. If data were at 
hand to estimate the rate of the rise of the land on the northwestern 
Alaska and Siberian coasts, we would have a key to the approximate 
age of villages 2 and 3 at Cape Wankarem, and probably to the age of 
numerous other settlements along the same shore. 



Being a race of hunters and fishermen the food supply of the Eskimo 
is essentially composed of game and fish, which are prepared in a 
variety of ways. But little attention is paid to cleanliness in the 
preparation of food among these people. The flesh of reindeer, moun- 
tain sheep, bears, seals, walrus and other large game are commonly 
boiled in sea water to give it a salty flavor. 

Meat is frequently kept for a considerable length of time and some- 
times until it becomes semiputrid. At Point Barrow, in the middle of 
August, 1881, the people still had the carcasses of deer which had been 
killed the preceding winter and spring. This meat was kept in small 
underground pits, which the frozen subsoil rendered cold, but not cold 
enough to prevent a bluish fungus growth which completely covered 
the carcasses of the animals and the walls of the storerooms. 

Meat killed in summer is often dried, as are also the various kinds of 
salmon, which are split down to the base of the tail and hung on wooden 
frames until dry. The smaller species of salmon, known as dog salmon, 
are tied in bunches of twenty when dry and placed in storehouses for 
future use. 

The large flakes of dried king salmon are usually packed away in 
bales or bundles. Tomcod, sculpin, and whitefish also are dried, the 
smaller species, such as tomcod and sculpin, being hung upon strings. 
The roe of herring is gathered on the seaweed during spawning time 
and some of this is dried and preserved for winter use, when it is boiled 
and eaten with great relish. 

On the lower Kuskokwim and thence to the Yukon the people try 
out the oil from a species of whitefish found there and store in bags 
for winter use the clear white fat thus obtained. 

Fish are boiled and sometimes are roasted over an open fire as is 
frequently done with meat, but boiling is the usual method of prepar- 
ing both fish and meat. Fish taken in winter are usually placed in 
grass bags and kept frozen until required, when they are eaten raw, 
while still frozen, or are boiled. Crabs, mussels, and ascidians are boiled. 

In the district between the Yukon and the Kuskokwim, the heads of 
king salmon, taken in summer, are placed in small pits in the ground 
surrounded by straw and covered with turf. They are kept there during 
summer and in the autumn have decayed until even the bones have 
become of the same consistency as the general mass. They are then 
taken out and kneaded in a wooden tray until they form a pasty com- 
pound and are eaten as a favorite dish by some of the people. The 
odor of this mess is almost unendurable to one not accustomed to it, 
and is even too strong for the stomachs of many of the Eskimo. 

The back fat of the reindeer is cut into small pieces and chewed by 
the women until it becomes a pasty mass, which is put into a wooden 
dish. When enough of this has been prepared, a quantity of snow and 


some salmon or cranberries are mixed with it and the who_e is kneaded 
until it becomes a homogeneous mass. This compound is regarded as 
the greatest delicacy that can be served to guests and at feasts. 

The blubber of seals, walrus, or whales is stored and often eaten in 
its natural form; or the oil may be tried out and stored in bags and 
used for food as well as for burning in lamps. When used as food it 
is placed in a small wooden tray or dish and the people dip their dried 
fish or other meat into it. The oil is never drunk by them except when 
desiring to take it as a purgative; at such times a large draft of seal 
oil is usually effective. 

The oil obtained from whitefish is regarded as a great delicacy when 
eaten with dried salmon. Walrus flippers and the skin of the white 
whale are also among the choice bits of the Eskimo larder. The blood 
of seals or other large game is made into a stew called Jcai-u'-sh&lc. The 
soup of boiled meat is called mi-chu'-a and is greatly relished. 

On the mainland it is customary for the women to go out every spring 
and search the marshes for the eggs of wild fowl which breed there. 
Upon the islands waterfowl are caught and their eggs taken from the 
cliffs facing the sea, and many geese and ducks are speared or netted 
while molting at the end of the breeding season. 

In autumn the women gather a large supply of blueberries, heath 
berries, salmon berries, and cranberries, which they store for winter 
use. At this season is also gathered a kind of wild sorrel, which is 
boiled and crushed with a pestle and then put into a wooden tub or 
barrel and covered with water, where it is left to ferment in the sun. 
This makes a very pleasant acid relish, which is added to various dishes 
in the winter and is called ho-pa'-tuk. Young willow leaves are also 
boiled and eaten. 

The women also gather the bulbous roots of a species of grass, which 
are either boiled or eaten raw ; they have a sweetish, nutty flavor. They 
also search for the little stores of these roots which have been gathered 
by field mice. They feel around among the grass-covered knolls with 
a long-handle staff until a soft spot is found, showing the location of 
the hidden store, which they quickly transfer to their baskets. 

All the Eskimo are forced by the harsh nature of their climatic sur- 
roundings to provide a supply of food for winter, but they are careless 
and improvident in many ways. They frequently consume nearly all of 
their stores during midwinter festivals and live in semi-starvation 
throughout the early spring. 

The seal nets set out in the fall are of the utmost importance to the 
natives, as they depend upon the catch of seals at this time for food 
and for a supply of oil for their lamps and other purposes, as well as 
the skins for buying necessary articles from the traders. 

Just before the netting season, one of my paddle men, an unusually 
industrious hunter, found that there was some whisky in a village 
where we stopped. Before I knew it he had traded off his only seal 
net for enough whisky to make himself intoxicated, in which coudition 


be immediately proceeded to place himself. The result was that he and 
his family were very short of food during the following winter. 

The terrible famine and accompanying disease which caused the death 
of over a thousand people on St Lawrence island during the winter of 
1879 and 1880 was said to have been caused by the use of whisky. 
The people of that island usually obtained their supply of food for the 
winter by killing walrus from the great herds of these animals that go 
through Bering strait on the first ice in the fall. The walrus remain 
about the island only a few days and then go south, when the ice closes 
about and shuts the island in till spring. 

Just before the time for the walrus to reach the island that season, 
the Eskimo obtained a supply of whisky from some vessels and began 
a prolonged debauch, which ended only when the supply was exhausted. 
When this occurred the annual migration of the walrus had passed, 
and the people were shut in for the winter by the ice. The result was 
that over two-thirds of the population died before spring. The follow- 
ing spring, when the Corwin visited the islands, some of the survivors 
came on board bringing a few articles for trade. They wished only to 
purchase ritle cartridges and more whisky. 

During July, 1881, the Corwin made a visit to this famine stricken 
district, where the miserable survivors were seen. Only a single dog 
was left among them, the others having been eaten by the starving 
people. Two of the largest villages were entirely depopulated. 

In July I landed at a place on the northern shore where two houses 
were standing, in which, wrapped in their fur blankets on the sleeping 
platforms, lay about 25 dead bodies of adults, and upon the ground 
and outside were a few others. Some miles to the eastward, along the 
coast, was another village, where there were 200 dead people. In a 
large house were found about 15 bodies placed one upon another like 
cordwood at one end of the room, while as many others lay dead in 
their blankets on the platforms. 

In the houses all the wooden and clay food vessels were found turned 
bottom upward and put away in one corner — mute evidences of the 
famine. Scattered about the houses on the outside were various tools 
and implements, clay pots, wooden dishes, trays, guns, knives, axes, 
ammunition, and empty bottles; among these articles were the skulls of 
walrus and of many dogs. The bodies of the people were found every- 
where in the village as well as scattered along in a line toward the 
graveyard for half a mile inland. 

The first to die had been taken farthest away, and usually placed 
at full length beside the sled that had carried the bodies. Scattered 
about such bodies lay the tools and implements belonging to the dead. 
In one instance a body lay outstretched upon a sled, while behind it, 
prone upon his face, with arms outstretched and almost touching the 
sled runners, lay the body of a man who had died while pushing the 
sled bearing the body of his friend or relative. 

Others were found lying in the underground passageways to the 


houses, and one body was found halfway out of the entrance. Most of 
the bodies lying* about the villages had evidently been dragged there 
and left wherever it was most convenient by the living during the later 
period of the famine. The total absence of the bodies of children in 
these villages gave rise to the suspicion that they had been eaten by the 
adults; but possibly this may not have been the case. The strongest 
evidence in this regard, however, was in one village where there were 
over two hundred dead adults, and although 1 looked carefully for the 
bodies of children, none could be found; yet there was no positive evi- 
dence that cannibalism had been practiced by the natives. That this 
custom sometimes prevailed, however, in ancient times, during famines, 
I learned from the Unalit; nevertheless they openly expressed their 
abhorrence of the practice. 

On the bluff at the northwest point of this island we found a couple 
of surviving families living in round-top, walrus-hide summer houses. 
At the foot of the hill not far from their present camping place was a 
winter village, where about 100 people lay dead; the bodies were scat- 
tered about outside or were lying in their blankets in the houses, as we 
had seen them in other places. 

The two families living there consisted of about a dozen people; the 
adults seemed very much depressed and had little animation. Among 
them were two bright little girls, who had the usual childish careless- 
ness, and kept near us while we were on shore. When I shot a snow 
bunting near the village they called to me and ran to show me its nest 
on the hillside. 

Wnen I asked one of the inhabitants what had become of the people 
who formerly lived on that part of the island, he waved his hand toward 
the winter village, saying, "All mucky mucky ^ being the jargon term 
for "dead." 

I tried to obtain a photograph of the women and little girls, and for 
that purpose placed them in position and focused the camera. While 
I was waiting for a lull in the wind to take the picture, the husband of 
one of the women came up and asked in a listless, matter-of-fact tone, 
"All mucky now?" meaning, "Will they all die now?" He evidently 
took it for granted that my camera was a conjuring box, which would 
complete the work of the famine, yet he seemed perfectly indifferent to 
the consequences. 

A curious trait noticed among these survivors was their apparent 
loss of the customary fear which the natives usually show when near a 
spot where many persons have died. The death of all their friends 
and relatives seemed to have rendered them apathetic and beyond the 
iiilluence of ordinary fear of that kind. The two families mentioned 
were camped on the hill just above the village full of dead bodies, and 
whenever they went down to the shore to launch their umiak they were 
forced to pass close to the dead, yet they seemed oblivious to their 
gruesome surroundings. 









Tobacco was first introduced among the Alaskan Eskimo from Asia, 
by way of Bering* strait, by their Siberian neighbors, and by the same 
route came the pipes witli cylindrical bowls and wide rims, similar to 
those used in eastern Asia. 

Tobacco is used in different forms by both sexes; the women usually 
chew it or take it in the form of snuff, but rarely smoke it; the men 
use it in all these ways. The tobacco now used by these people is 
obtained from the traders, and is usually in the form of the natural leaf, 
tied in small bunches called "hands." 

For chewing, the tobacco is cut into shreds on small boards which 
are usually merely plain tablets from a few inches to a foot or more 
in diameter, but they 
are sometimes orna- 
mented with an incised 
pattern. When the 
tobacco has been cut 
sufficiently fine it is 
mixed with ashes ob- 
tained from tree fun- 
gus and kneaded and 
rolled into rounded 
pellets or quids, often 
being chewed a little 
by the women in order 
to incorporate the 
ashes more thorough- 
ly. The tree fungus 
from which the ashes 
are made forms a regular article of trade with the Tinne of the inte- 
rior, avIio bring it to the coast every summer and sell it to the Eskimo. 
Figure 93 represents a specimen of this tree fungus, which was obtained 
at St Michael from a trading party of the Yukon Tinne. Figure 118 
illustrates one of the tobacco boards. 

It is common when traveling among these people to see the women 
engaged in cutting up tobacco, kneading it with ashes, or chewing it 
into quids in order to supply their husbands or other male relatives 
with a stock for use on the ensuing day. From four to eight of the 
pellets are prepared at one time; these are packed in little boxes ready 
for use. 

The men do not usually chew the quids, but hold them in the cheek, 
and rarely expectorate the juice. After holding a quid in his mouth 
for some time, if the chewer wishes to rest, eat, or drink, he takes it 
out, and after rolling it into a little ball, places it behind his right ear, 
where it remains until again needed. 

Fig. 93 — Fungus used for making ashes to mix with tohacco. 


Iii addition to the usual tobacco mixed with fungus ashes these 
people are also fond of using the nicotine that accumulates in their 
pipestems. At intervals every smoker opens his pipestem and care- 
fully removes the oily mass of tobacco extract, which he places with 
his chewing tobacco; a portion of this is combined with the quid and 
adds greatly to his enjoyment, owing to its strong narcotic influence. 
I have frequently seen them place this material in their mouths almost 
undiluted and in quantity that appeared sufficient to cause the indi- 
vidual's death, yet apparently without producing the least nausea or 
other ill effect. 

Some of the writers on the Eskimo have claimed that they eat this 
concentrated tobacco, but I think this a mistake, as I frequently saw 
them placing it in their mouths and holding it there in the same man- 
ner that they did ordinary quids. 

For smoking the tobacco is cut very fine, then a little tuft of fur is 
plucked from the clothing and wadded at the bottom of the narrow, 
cylindrical bowl of the pipe, and the tobacco is placed on top of this 
until the bowl is full. A small fragment of tinder is then lighted with 
flint and steel and placed on the tobacco. The smoker gives two or 
three short, sharp draws, which thoroughly ignite the tinder and 
tobacco, and then draws the smoke into his lungs by a long, deep 
inhalation, which consumes all the tobacco contained in the pipe. 
After retaining the smoke as long as possible it is exhaled, and the 
smoker puts away the pipe. 

For making snuff' the tobacco is finely shredded, and is then thor- 
oughly dried, after which it is pounded in a small wooden mortar with 
a wooden pestle until reduced to powder. These mortars are gener- 
ally more or less goblet-shape, although I obtained one specimen from 
the lower Yukon, shown in plate lxxxvi, 30, which is like a small 
wooden dipper, with a hole near the end of the handle for suspending 
it. Another typical example of these mortars (plate lxxxv, 28) was 
obtained at Kazbinsky. The pestles usually consist of sticks from an 
inch to an inch and a half in diameter, rounded at the lower end, and 
from 10 to 15 inches in length. A good specimen of these implements, 
from Kigiktauik, is shown in figure 27. 

After the tobacco has been reduced to powder it is sifted, to remove 
the coarser imrticles, until it is finally of the fineness required. For 
this i^urpose there are used small sieves, similar to the specimen from 
Razbinsky (figure 29), which are made by cutting out a cylinder of 
wood about two inches long, and fastening over one end a cover of 
parchment made from some thin skin or from the intestine of some 
animal, which is punctured with numerous small holes, and the edges 
bound to the cylinder by a sinew cord wrapped around a groove in the 
border. The sieve frames are sometimes made from bark, and one 
such specimen collected on the lower Yukon has the sieve made from 
a piece of coarse sacking. 







The snuff is kept in neatly made boxes, and is used by placing one 
end of a tube (made from the wing-bone of a goose or other water fowl) 
successively in each of the nostrils and inhaling vigorously from the 
snuff-box in which the other end of the tube is placed. 

The boxes used for containing snuff vary greatly in form, many of 
them showing remarkable skill in carving and ingenuity in conception 
of the designs. 

A snuff-box from Kigiktauik (number 33074) is formed of a band of 
bone bent into a circle and riveted at the ends by pieces of iron; this 
serves as a foundation on which is fitted a top and a bottom in the form 
of truncated cones, the top having a round hole in the center, capped 
with a wooden cover. The band of bone has a few circles and dots 
etched on its surface. 

A circular wooden snuff-box from Kaialigamut (figure 20, plate 
lxxxvi) is slightly narrower at the top and is beveled inward from 
the rim both above and below to the convex top and bottom ; the 
cover has a projecting arm, extending slightly beyond the edge of the 
box, by which it can be raised. In both top and bottom are set five 
small ivory pegs with broad heads. The box is painted black, except 
the beveled edge of the rim above and below and the lever-like handle 
on the cover, which are red. Another specimen, brought from Norton 
sound, is shaped similarly to the preceding, but has four grooves around 
the outside, forming bead-like ridges, the upper and lower ones being 
the largest. 

The snuff-box from Anogogmut (figure 21, plate lxxxvi) is somewhat 
similar to the above-described specimen from Kigiktauik, but the top 
and the bottom are carved in relief to represent a human face surrounded 
by a beveled ridge; two beads are inlaid to represent labrets, and the 
mouth and the eyes are indicated by inlaid pieces of ivory. A series of 
beads is set in a groove around the middle of the box, which is painted 

An oval wooden box from Kushunuk (figure 11, plate lxxxvi) forms 
a sharp angle at each end; the top and bottom are slightly convex. 
The sides are painted with alternate stripes of black and red; on the 
top the red is replaced by dull blue, the bottom also being of that 
color. A loop of sealskin cord three and a half inches long forms a 
handle on the cover. 

Another oval box, obtained at St Michael (figure (>, plate lxxxvi) 
has the sides made of leather covered with black whalebone, the ends 
of which are notched and interlocked. The top and bottom are of wood 
neatly fitted. To the center of the top is fastened a stout rawhide cord 
about three inches long, which lias attached to its end a small tube for 
inhaling snuff. 

18 eth 18 


A curious box from Ckalitmut (figure 15, plate lxxxvi) is oval in 
shape and is cut from a single piece of wood. The oval cover is set 
in one side and lias a rawhide handle. On the sides, carved in strong 
relief, are two grotesque, seal-like animals facing each other. The 
bodies are painted red and the intervening area black. The entire 
surface of the box is marked with crescent-shape incisions and studded 
with white beads of different sizes. 

A box from the lower Yukon (figure 12, plate lxxxvi) represents a 
large seal upon its back with the head and the tail upraised and a smaller 
seal lying upon it, this latter forming the cover. This is a well-made 
carving in strong relief, with numerous small ivory pegs and white 
beads set about the surface. Around the neck of each seal is fastened 
a flattened piece of bird quill. The seals are represented with open 
mouths and beads form the eyes. 

The small square box from Nunivak island (figure 3, plate lxxxvi) 
is made of ivory, with the top and bottom of separate , pieces fastened 
by pegs. Across the top three strips of brass are inlaid, and the small 
wooden lid has a loop of rawhide for a handle. The sides of the box 
are etched with two parallel lines connecting a series of circles and 

A square wooden box from Kulukhtulogumut (figure 2, plate lxxxvi) 
has the bottom neatly fitted and a small, square lid near one end with 
a loop of sinew for a handle; around the sides and the top, passing over 
the middle in both directions, narrow strips of ivory are inlaid. The 
bottom of the box, the sides of the top, and the end farthest from the 
lid are painted red: the remainder is black. 

A round-cornered box from King island (figure 1, plate lxxxvi) has 
square pieces of lead and bone inlaid around the sides and the top. In 
the top are two circular pieces of white bone, and white beads are 
inserted over the surface, except on the bottom. The lid is a thin 
piece of wood which slides in a groove and has a projecting thumb- 
piece at one end. A box very similar to this was obtained on Nuni- 
vak island ; its surface is inlaid with strips and squares of brass and 
numerous white beads. 

Another box from Nuuivak island (figure 4, plate lxxxvi) is of wood 
heavily inlaid with cross-bands of brass. The lid, which is inlaid in 
the same manner, consists of a small, square, wooden cap fitted into 
the beveled edges of a small hole in the center of the top. 

An oval box from Kushunuk (figure 5, x>late lxxxvi) is made of 
birch-bark which is bent and the overlapping ends cut and interlaced. 
The top and the bottom are fitted with wooden stoppers, the upper one 
having a strip of beaver skin for a handle. Another box from Kushu- 
nuk (figure 7, plate lxxxvi) is of wood, oval in outline. The bottom 
and the cover are pointed oval in form, and the latter has a projecting 
thumb-piece at one end. It is painted black and pieces of white crock- 
ery are inlaid in regular series over the surface. 


A large ivory snuff- box from Nubviukhchugaluk (figure 23, plate 
Lxxxvi) is neatly made from a bollowed-out cross section of a walrus 
tusk. The top and the bottom are of wood and the surface is grooved 
horizontally and vertically. 


For taking snuff from the boxes, tubes made from the hollow wing- 
bones of geese and other water fowl are used ; they are truncated at 
both ends, and vary in length from 3J to 5£ inches. Frequently they 
are attached to the cover of the snuff-box by a rawhide cord, but some- 
times they are carried separately. They are in general use from the 
Kuskokwim northward to Kotzebue sound, and the method of using 
them is the same as previously described. 

The surface of these implements is sometimes plain, as in the speci- 
men shown in plate xc, 1, from Cape Kome, which has merely a rude 
groove around the middle for the attachment of a cord. 

Another tube (figure 2, plate xc) from Kushunuk, is also plain, and 
has wound around it, near one end, several turns of a smooth rootlet, 
the ends being tucked under to hold it in place. The specimen from 
Anogogmut (figure 4, plate xc) is likewise plain, but its ends are slightly 
reduced in size, aud near the shoulder, around the tube, are three 
parallel incised lines. 

A tube from the lower Yukon (figure 3, plate xc) has the ends 
slightly reduced and the sides beveled to form eight faces. Another, 
from Eazbinsky (plate xc, 13), is encircled with smooth, parallel grooves 
extending in a regular series from end to end, producing a scalloped 
surface, the intervening ridges being neatly rounded. The specimen 
from Cape Vancouver (plate xc, 14) is similar to this, but has an incised 
groove around the top of each ridge. 

Another tube (figure 5, plate xc) from Askinuk, has two broad 
grooves near each end, with three incised lines around the bordering 
ridges. Another specimen from the same place (figure 15, plate xc) is 
handsomely etched with lines, circles, dots, and cross patterns, and has 
numerous tridentate marks representing the raven totem. 

The specimens illustrated in figures 6 and 12, plate xc, are from Ohal- 

Tubes variously ornamented with etched lines are shown in figure 
11, from the lower Yukon; figure 9, from Kohigunugumut; figure 10, 
from Askinuk; figure 7, from the lower Yukon, and figure 8, from Cape 


For storing the wood fungus ashes, which are used with chewing 
tobacco, small boxes are made; these are usually rather tubular in 
shape and are made from a considerable variety of materials. Among 
the large series obtained are specimens made from sections of reindeer 


antler hollowed out and fitted with a cap of wood or antler at each 
end. Some are made from the butts of walrus tusks hollowed out and 
fitted with covers, and others are of wood or bone. 

One of these boxes, from Hotham inlet (figure 7, plate lxxxvii), is 
made from a piece of walrus ivory and shaped something- like the hoof 
of a reindeer. About its upper end is sewed a piece of cloth provided 
with a puckering string for closiug it. The surface is plain, except for 
a series of circles and dots which extend around its upper border. 

A box from Golofnin bay (figure 5, plate lxxxvii) is made from the 
butt of a large walrus tusk, and has a wooden bottom held in place by 
wooden pins set through holes drilled in the ivory. The sides of this 
box, which have been split, are repaired with small copper clamps aud 
a sinew cord wound around the middle. The top is neatly made of 
walrus ivory, oval in outline, with a sunken shoulder to fit in the open- 
ing of the box. In the back are two holes through which a rawhide 
cord is passed and tied; the cord then runs up through a hole in the 
edge of the cover and along a slot on the top, then down again near 
the front edge and through a hole just below the top of the box, from 
which hangs its free end. By the use of this simple contrivance the 
cover can be raised or closed without danger of dropping it. This 
device for the covers of these boxes is in common use along the coast 
from the Yukon mouth to Kotzebue sound. 

A specimen from Hotham inlet (plate lxxxvii, 4) is made from a 
piece of reindeer antler and has a wooden bottom held in place by 
snugly fitting the outline of the box. The top is a simple wooden piece 
with a short rawhide cord, with a knot iu its end, projecting from the 
middle of the upper surface, by which it can be lifted out. The box is 
oval in shape, and has incised lines in pairs around the outside, dividing 
it into four nearly equal sections, in which are etched a variety of fig- 
ures, including birds, mammals, boats, sledges, trees, waterfowl, and 
people. The etching is deep and is rendered very distinct by having 
dark-reddish coloring matter rubbed into the incised lines. On one 
side is etched the raven totem, with a circle and dot just in front, simi- 
lar to the mark described as existing on a kashim cover at Kigiktauik, 
and undoubtedly intended to represent the same idea of the raven's 
tracks in the snow, with the mark left where it had eaten meat (see 
figure 116, page 325). 

Number 04184 is a tall box of walrus ivory, flattened oval in shape, 
also from Hotham inlet. Around the base on one side are etched the 
figures of six reindeer; on the other side is represented a house with 
an elevated cache and a man shooting at the hindmost of the deer. 
Around the upper border is carved a zigzag pattern, pendent from 
which is a series of raven totem marks. On another specimen of simi- 
lar shape, from Razbinsky, on the lower Yukon, each of the borders is 
ornamented with a zigzag pattern and with raven totem marks extend- 
ing thence toward the middle of the box. 

nelson] FUNGUS-ASH BOXES 277 

Another box from Hotliam inlet (figure 8, plate lxxxvii) is made 
from a piece of reindeer antler, with a knob on the side, and a wooden 
lid which is held in position by a cord fastened on one side and strung 
through holes in the cover, as in the specimen shown in figure 5 of the 
same plate. The surface of the box is covered with circles and dots, 
and has etched around the middle a series of conical summer lodges. 

A long, cylindrical specimen from Sledge island (figure 9, plate 
lxxxvii) has the surface carved in a series of scallops and ridges 
extending around it. The bottom is fastened with four wooden pins. 
The box is provided with a wooden lid. 

A box from Nuuivak island (figure 3, plate lxxxvii) is of reindeer 
antler, with a wooden top and bottom. In slight relief upon its sides 
are represented the fore and hind nippers of a seal, with circle-and-dot 
patterns elsewhere along the sides. 

Figure 12, plate lxxxvii, represents a box, from Kotzebue sound, 
made from a piece of whalebone. The bottom is formed of a rounded 
piece of the same material. On the surface are etched the arms and the 
breast of a woman with a curious fish-like head; on the back a small, 
square piece of iron is inlaid. A specimen from Norton sound (number 
33199) has a zigzag border pattern on both ends and raven totem 
marks extending toward the middle. 

A vase-shape wooden box from Kaialigamut (figure 14, plate 
lxxxvii) is four inches in height and is very regular in outline. It has 
a flaring rim and a woodeu cover; the sides are set with small, round, 
ivory pegs symmetrically arranged, and around the rim are inserted four 
white beads. Another round wooden box (figure 11, plate lxxxvii) has 
a beveled edge, like the chime of a barrel, and the bottom is neatly 
inserted. In the center of the lid is set a piece of wood, convex in out- 
line, on which is carved in relief a grotesque face intended to represent 
some mythological being. The eyes are formed by ivory pegs with large 
heads, and the sides of the box are ornamented with similar pegs, as well 
as with long, triangular pieces of ivory neatly inlaid near the upper edge, 
with the smaller ends pointing downward. The box is painted black 
around the sides, with a red border, and a black circle surrounds the 
cover. The face on the cover has a red forehead, a broad black band 
across the eyes, a-red band across the mouth and cheeks, and a black 
chin. From each corner of the mouth extends a stout rawhide cord 
about four inches in length, which serves as a handle for raising the 

An oval wooden box, from the country south of the Yukon mouth, 
has a groove incised around its border in two directions. The top and 
the bottom are made of thin pieces of wood set into holes cut parallel 
to the sides of the box. The surface is inlaid in symmetrical patterns 
with small square, triangular, and round pieces of white crockery. 

A square wooden box from Kushunuk (figure 13. j)late lxxxvii) has 
the corners beveled and scored with a deep, vertical groove; another 


groove encircles the bottom of the box, which also has a circular groove 
on the center. The neatly fitted cover is a thin piece of wood, with an 
incised circle about the middle and a projecting thumb-piece which fits 
upon beveled shoulders on the rim at one side. 

A round wooden box from the lower Yukon (figure G, plate lxxxvii) 
is a little less than 5 inches in height and 2 inches in diameter. It has 
a deep incision around the base, with a flaring, rim-like bottom. The 
cover is fitted, like a stopper, into the top, and is incised to form a flar- 
ing rim; it has a knob on the top. 

Another round box from the Yukon (figure 10, plate lxxxvii) has the 
middle part formed by a narrow band of bone bent and fastened with 
bone rivets and pegs. The excavated top and bottom are made of 
wood in the form of truncated cones with slightly projecting rims; 
they fit stopper-like into the bone circle. On the bone part are etched 
circles and dots with a continuous zigzag border. On the top of the 
box a round section of walrus tooth is inlaid in the center, and five 
smaller pieces are set at regular intervals around the beveled edge. On 
both the upper and the lower edge of the border are inserted small tufts 
of seal hair fastened with pegs. 


Figure 16, plate lxxxvi, represents a small quid box, obtained on 
Nunivak island by Dr W. H. Dall. It is shaped in the form of a 
murre's head, the lower mandible forming a thuinb-piece for raising the 
lid. The cover is formed by the jaw and throat; the eyes are outlined 
by incised circles; the nostrils consist of a hole pierced through the 
mandible in front of the eyes, in which is a sinew cord for attaching 
the box to the belt or for hanging it around the neck of the owner. 

A quid box from Chalitmut (figure 8, plate lxxxvi) is flattened 
above and below, and is oval in outline, with one end truncated. It is 
cut from a single piece, with the exception of the cover, which fits into 
the top flush with its edges, on which a rawhide loop serves as a handle. 
Around the sides, near the upper edge, is a deep groove, in which nine 
ivory pegs are set at regular intervals. Six ivory pegs are inserted 
in the top and seven on the bottom along an incised line following the 
border. In the truncated end are five others, one at each corner and 
one in the middle. 

A specimen from Kushunuk (figure 14, plate lxxxvi) is an oval 
box large enough to hold only one or two quids of tobacco. The top 
is rather more flattened than that of the preceding box, and has a 
stopper-like cover. Each end is carved to represent the features of 
some animal, incised lines marking the mouth, nostrils, and eyebrows. 
On its surface are several inlaid white beads, and similar beads repre 
sent the eyes and nostrils. 

A quid box from Askinuk (figure 17, plate lxxxvi) represents a 
walrus, with projecting tusks, lying on its back. On its abdominal sur- 

nelson! quid boxes 279 

face is the figure of a young walrus, which forms the lid and fits 
stopper-like into an oval opening in the larger animal. The flippers 
are carved in relief, and the eyes are represented by inlaid beads, those 
of the larger walrus being red, those of the young one white. One of 
the tusks of the larger animal is made of wood and the other of bone. 
Those of the smaller walrus are both of bone. Another specimen 
from Askinuk (figure 20, plate lxxxvi) is a curiously grotesque box, 
rather oval in shape, with two long, flipper-like projections on one end. 
The cover rudely represents a seal-head turned up to form the thumb- 
piece, while the neck and shoulders slope downward and have a 
stopper-shape base which fits into an oval hole in the top of the box. 

A box from Anogogmut (figure 9, plate lxxxvi) is egg-shape in out- 
line and flattened above and below. It is carved from a single piece 
of wood, except the stopper, which fits neatly into the top. Around 
the sides are inlaid beads and circular bits of crockery, and a gored pat- 
tern is cut in relief on the surface of the sides. This box, which is 
apparently made of birch, is a very neat piece of workmanship. 

The handsomely carved box from Kulwoguwigumut (figure 13, plate 
lxxxvi) is rather flat on its upper surface and oval on the other sides; 
the cover, more or less square in shape, fits like a stopper into the upper 
surface and has a projecting thumb-piece about half an inch long. 
Holding this box with the cover downward it represents a grotesque 
figure of a porcupine; the mouth is deeply incised; the eyes, formed by 
ivory pegs, are in saucer-shape depressions with incised crescentic 
lines back of the eyes; the nostrils are indicated by small pieces of 
ivory. On the rear side of the figure are three round-head ivory pegs 
set in a triangle. 

A circular box from Kushunuk (figure 22, plate lxxxvi) is formed 
of a band of spruce, with the overlapping ends beveled and fastened by 
some kind of gum or cement; the bottom is fitted into a groove in the 
rim and the top is also neatly fitted. The cap of the box fits stopper- 
like into the top and is slightly convex in outline, having the face of a 
man carved in low relief on its upper surface. The eyes and labrets 
are represented by round-head ivory pegs, and the mouth is a crescentic 
incision with a hole in the center, through which is fastened a rawhide 
loop, serving to lift the cover. 

A round wooden box from Sledge island (figure 25, plate lxxxvi) is 
made in two nearly equal parts which fit together by an inner border on 
the under half. It is cracked on one side and bound together by a 
sinew cord. 

A small wooden box from Ohalitmut (figure 18, plate lxxxvi) has the 
form of a human head; the face is carved in relief, the eyes and labrets 
are represented by inlaid white beads; the mouth is deeply incised and 
crescentic in form. In a groove which extends around the face are set 
a series of round-head ivory pegs; the back of the head has a hole 
in which fits a cover with a projecting thumb-piece crossing a notch on 


the edge of the box. The face is paiuted red, the back of the head 
black, and the cover bluish. 

Another box from Glial itmut (figure 24, plate lxxxvi) is carved in 
shape of a bear's head; it is painted black, with the open mouth and 
nostrils in red; one eye is formed by an incised circle with a black cen- 
ter, the other is an oval incision with a small fragment of glass set in 
the center to represent the pupil. The cover is ingeniously made so 
that the lower jaw of the open mouth serves as a thumb piece by which 
it can be raised. There is a circular orifice in the head into which the 
cover fits, with a flaring rim, forming a continuous outline with the 
body of the box. 

An oval wooden quid box from Kushunuk (figure 10, plate lxxxvi) 
has the top and the bottom neatly fitted; a groove is incised around 
the side and three grooves in the cover, which has a rawhide loop. 
Bound ivory pegs are inlaid on all the surfaces; it is painted bluish 
and the grooves are red. 

An ivory quid box from Unalaklit (figure 19, plate lxxxvi) has 
carved on the surface, in relief, the figures of four seals. A braided 
grass cord is attached for a handle, and the bottom is closed by a 
wooden stopper. The cover has been lost. 


The tobacco pipes used by the Eskimo on the mainland and adja- 
cent islands of northern Alaska vary considerably in different locali- 
ties, as shown in the series illustrated, but in general their remarkable 
likeness to pipes used in China and Japan is noteworthy, and suggests 
the source whence the patterns were derived. All of them have a 
small, cylindrical bowl, with a flaring top of greater or less breadth. 
The bowls are ordinarily made of stone, lead, or copper. They are set 
on the end of the stem and held in place by rawhide or sinew cord 
passed around the stem or through holes pierced in it. 

Exceptions to this style are found in some pipes from Kotzebue 
sound, Gape Prince of Wales, Gape Nome, and St Lawrence island, 
which are made with the bowl and the stem in one piece; but in general 
character they are similar to the others. 

Pipe stems are usually of wood, with a mouthpiece of bone or ivory, 
although sometimes the wood itself is rounded to serve this purpose, 
or it may be tipped with an empty brass or copper cartridge shell, with 
a hole bored in the head. On Norton sound and in the Yukon district 
the stems are made usually of two pieces of wood, hollowed out and 
lashed together with a rawhide cord, so that they can be separated to 
obtain the nicotine, which is removed occasionally and mixed with the 
chewing tobacco. 

On the coast of Bering strait and at Gape Nome, Port Clarence, 
Cape Prince of Wales, Sledge island, and Kotzebue sound, the pipes, 
which are made in one piece, have small, door-like pieces fitted neatly 



PIPES AND PIPE MOLD ^one-fourth 




in the lower part of the stem, which can be removed at will to enable 
the owner to clean out the accumulated nicotine. Each pipe is usually 
provided with a small metal implement, which is used for cleaning the 
bowl and for tamping the tobacco; it is attached to the stem by a string 
or band of beads, or sometimes by a strip of tanned rawhide. 

In addition to those described, there are handsomely ornamented 
pipes made of ivory, Avith metal bowls. These are not very numerous, 
but were seen at widely separated localities from the Yukon mouth 
northward through Bering strait to Kotzebue sound. They are of the 
ordinary type, but have a narrow stem, beveled on four sides, and are 
handsomely ornamented with etched scenes, illustrating native customs 
and life, similar in general style to the etchings on drill bows. 

Figure 13, plate lxxxviii, represents a wooden mold used by the 
Eskimo for casting the wide mouth leaden bowls for their pipes. It 
was obtained at St Michael. It consists of five pieces; the two side 
pieces in which the shape of the pipe is excavated are held together by 
sinew cords in notches at each end; below a square stick forms the 
base, on which stands a small, upright, round stick to form the hole in 

Fig. 94— Pipe from Kotzebue sound (about \). 

the bottom of the bowl, on the inside of which is a ring of wood with 
five spoke-like projections reaching to the edge of the mold, which 
serves to produce the pattern that is seen on the bowls of many of the 
pipes. A round Avooden cover fits snugly over the top of the mold, 
which has a round hole in the center through which the molten lead is 

From among the large number of pipes obtained from widely sepa- 
rated localities, the following specimens have been selected for illus- 
tration as representing the principal varieties found among them: 

A pipe from Kotzebue sound (figure 94) is a huge affair, very heavy 
and clumsy. The wooden stem, 18 inches in length and 3 inches in 
diameter near the bowl, is beveled to form eight sides, and has two 
neatly fitted square tablets, about 44 inches long, fitted into its lower 
side; these have a projection on one end to enable them to be lifted out 
for the purpose of extracting the accumulated nicotine. The bowl of 
the pipe is of lead, and several roughly oval pieces of the same metal 
are inlaid on the stem near the bowl; the mouthpiece is a tapering 
tube of lead about 2i inches in lenath. 


A wooden pipe from Cape Prince of Wales (figure 4, plate lxxxviii) 
is cut from a single piece, the slightly flaring bowl being lined with 
tin, and an empty cartridge shell is fitted on the end of the stem for a 
mouthpiece. The lower end of the stem has three long pieces of wood 
fitted into openings to permit the removal of the nicotine from the 
interior. Fragments of a large blue bead are inlaid on the stem. 

The pipe from Cape Nome (figure 1, plate lxxxviii) is somewhat 
similar to the preceding, but the end of the stem is made in a separate 
piece, fitted into the larger part by a tapering joint, and wrapped with 
rawhide cord; a copper cartridge shell forms the mouthpiece. The 
underside of the pipe has a long oval piece of wood set in an opening, 
the rear end of which is guarded by a strip of tin, having its two ends 
inserted in the wood and fitted against the curve of the surface. An 
iron picker about three inches in length is fastened to the stem by a 
strip of rawhide. This picker is neatly made, with one end bent over 
against a notch in the stem, forming an eye for the strap; the lower 
end is octagonal and has a chisel-shape tip. 

A pipe from Sledge island (figure 2, plate lxxxviii) is very similar 
to the preceding. The bowl forms a part of the stem and is lined with 
lead; on the underside of the stem, near the bowl, is inserted a long, 
narrow piece of wood, to cover a hole made for removing the nicotine, 
and a similar hole appears near the mouthpiece, on the upper part of 
the stem. The mouthpiece is made by shaping the tip of the stem to a 
rounded point, leaving a shoulder about one-third of an inch from 
the end. 

The rMpe from St Lawrence island (figure 3, lxxxviii) is similar 
in shape to the preceding, but both the stem and the bowl are of lead. 
On the lower portion of the stem, next to the bowl, is. an open pat- 
tern, in which are inlaid small pieces of wood; the bowl is fitted on 
the top of the stem, and held in place by a rawhide cord which passes 
around the enlarged end of the stem, the lower surface of which has 
the usual long, narrow tablet for covering an orifice. 

A pipe from Unalaklit (figure 5, plate lxxxviii) has a wooden stem 
made in two pieces, the rear section jointed to the forward by a 
shoulder and a long, cone-shape, beveled point, which is inserted in 
the other section and fastened by a ring of -brass, the ends of which 
are united by copper rivets. The mouthpiece is a smoothly tapering 
piece of ivory fitted into the stem, the joint being surrounded by a 
broad copper ring. A plug of wood fits into the front end of the stem 
to permit the removal of the nicotine, for which purpose the joint in 
the stem is also contrived. The small cylindrical bowl is of lead with 
a broad flaring rim; on its base are two shoulders for securing the bowl 
to the stem by a rawhide cord, which is wound several times around 
the shoulders and the" end of the stem and tucked under itself at each 

The pipe shown in figure 11, plate lxxxviii, is more strongly curved 






than the preceding, with a tapering" wooden stem on which is mounted 
a neatly made copper bowl, with openwork patterns on the flaring rim, 
and with shoulders for the cord by which it is attached to the stem. 
Two narrow tablets are inserted on the lower side of the stem, and the 
front end is excavated and the hole closed by a wooden plug; the mouth- 
piece is of ivory, neatly made and fitted into the wood, the joint being 
covered with a ferrule made from a brass cartridge shell. 

The pipe from Cape Nome (figure 8, plate lxxxviii) is somewhat 
similar in shape to the preceding and has a well made copper bowl and 
a wooden stem, in which are two holes; through them a cord is passed 
and wrapped around shoulders on the bowl, making two or three turns 
on each side, the ends being fastened by tucking them under. In the 
front of the stem is a small wooden plug with a projecting end to 
enable the owner to remove it with his teeth; a small tablet is also 
fitted into a hole in the stem and provided with a tag of sealskin to 
facilitate its removal. The well-made mouthpiece of ivory is fitted into 
the wood and the joint is wrapped with sinew cord. A small iron 
picker is attached to the upper part of the stem by a string of beads 
about seven inches in length. 

A pipe from Port Clarence (figure 7, plate lxxxviii) is very similar in 
shape to the preceding, but its bowl is made from soft stone lashed on 
with sinew cord passed around the end of the stem. The mouthpiece 
consists of a small cartridge shell fitted into the wood, and over the 
joint is a copper thimble. 

Figure 10, plate lxxxviii, represents a pipe of the style generally in 
use about Norton sound and southward to the lower Kuskokwim. The 
wooden stem is split lengthwise and the two parts are held together by 
a continuous wrapping of sealskin cord, which serves also to hold the 
leaden bowl in position on the stem. The bowl is neatly made, with 
openwork around the flaring rim. The mouthpiece is a copper car- 
tridge shell fitted over the end of the stem. An iron picker is attached 
to the stem by a band of beads made of six strings, separated by leather 
spacers and fastened by the lashing on the stem. 

A pipe with a stem similar to the preceding (figure 6, plate lxxxviii) 
is from Point Hope. A mouthpiece of walrus ivory is fitted to the stem 
by a copper cartridge shell. The flaring rim of the bowl is made from 
bituminous coal lined with a thin sheet of iron, and is set directly on 
the stem without the usual neck-piece between. An iron picker is 
attached to the stem by a rawhide strap fastened with a sinew cord. 

At present pipe bowls generally are made of metal, copper and lead 
being most in use, but formerly stone bowls, similar in shape, were 
common, and a few specimens of these were obtained, principally from 
the vicinity of Bering strait. 

Figure 12, plate lxxxviii, represents one of these bowls, made of 
hard, olive-gray stone. It was obtained at Nubviukhchugaluk. 

A bowl made of walrus ivory (figure 14, lxxxviii) was dug from the 


site of an old village near St Michael. It is slightly different in pat- 
tern from either the stone or the metal bowls. It is very old, ante- 
dating the arrival of the Kussians on the shore of Norton sound. 

A wooden-stem pipe from Gape Prince of Wales ( figure 95) has a 
small brass bowl. Pipes of this shape are occasionally seen between 
Norton sound and Kotzebue sound. 

Figure 1 7 plate lxxxix, represents an ivory-stem pipe with a 
stone bowl which was obtained at St Michael. The stem is diamond- 
shape in cross section, and has its surface elaborately etched. On 
one side a series of umiaks and kaiaks are pursuing a walrus; on the 
other side are reindeer that have just crossed a river, and a man in a 
kaiak has thrown a spear into the back of the last one as it emerges 
from the water, while at the farther end a man is shooting another with 
an arrow. On the remainder of the surface is a series of conventional 

Another handsomely etched ivory pipestem (figure 3, plate lxxxix) 
was obtained at Norton sound. On the side shown in the illustration 
are various hunting scenes in which are whales, walrus, and seals, and 

Fig. 95 — Pipe from Cape Prince of Wales (J). 

a man is shooting with a bow and arrow just in front of a kashim in 
which people are dancing to the music of a drum. 

The handsomely etched pipestem shown in plate lxxxix, 2, was 
obtained in Kotzebne sound by Lieutenant Stoney. It has the raven 
totem marks near the mouthpiece, and a variety of hunting and other 
scenes of Eskimo life, besides various conventional designs, over its 
surface. Another handsome pipe (figure 4, plate lxxxix) was also 
obtained at the same place by Lieutenant Stoney. The leaden bowl 
has an old clock-wheel inlaid in the top of the tlaring rim. Like the 
preceding, the stem has the raven totem mark near the mouthpiece, 
and is elaborately etched with scenes from the life of the people, among 
which are the hunting and trapping of game and fish, dancing in the 
kashim, and playing football. 


With the pipes are carried small, round-bottom tobacco bags, made 
from various kinds of ornamental fur or skin, the borders often having 
handsome patterns formed by different colored skins, fur, or beadwork 
tassels. The top is generally 1 (ordered by strips of fur of the wolverine, 
mink, or other animal, or sometimes by a band of ornamental needle- 



SNUFF TUBES 'about nine-sixteenths 


Figure 2, plate lxxxvii, represents one of these bags, which was 
obtained at Paimut, on the lower Yukon. It is about 10 inches deep, 
and is intended for carrying the pipe, tobacco, flint, steel, and tinder. 
The back is of winter reindeer skin, with the hair cut close; the 
front is of the skin of Parry's marmot; around the lower edge and near 
the upper border are sewed strips of wolverine skin. The lower two- 
thirds of the bag is ornamented by a pattern of white-hair deerskin 
with two narrow strips of black skin welted in the seams, and a row 
of small tufts of red worsted spaced around at regular intervals. The 
mouth of the bag is surrounded by pattern work of white and dark 
threads on narrow strips of yellow and black skin, the extreme edge 
being bound with calico. 

A similar bag, of nearly the same size and shape (number 48136), was 
obtained at Cape Darby. As is usual in all these bags, the bottom is 
rounded and the top straight. The lower two-thirds is fringed with 
a narrow strip of mink skin, inside which is a pattern made with strips 
of white reindeer skin, with narrow strips of black skin welted into the 
seams, and two series of small red worsted tags spaced all around. The 
border of the bag is of White, parchment-like sealskin, and the string 
for closing it is of the same material. 

Figure 1, plate lxxxvii, represents a smaller bag of the same shape, 
but with less ornamentation. It is 5J inches deep, and is made of deer- 
skin, which is worn nearly bare of hair by use. A band of skin is sewed 
around the mouth and little strings of red and white beads, about an 
inch in length, hang in pairs around the lower border and sides, each 
string having pendent from it a small tuft of mink fur. 



Among the Eskimo in every village of the Alaskan mainland and the 
islands of Bering strait the Jcashim is the center of social and religious 
life. In it every man has a recognized place according to his standing 
in the community, and it is also the common sleeping place for the men. 
The women and the children live in houses apart and the men sleep 
with their families only occasionally. 

When a new kashim is to be built the villagers of Norton sound make 
a song of invitation to people of the same tribe living in neighboring 
places, which is learned by one of the young men, who is then sent to 
invite the guests. The messenger goes to the designated village, where 
he enters the kashim and during a dance sings his song of invitation to 
both men and women. When an invitation of this kind is given all 
respond and join in building the new kashim. This is said to produce 
friendly feeling between the neighboring places, which will render them 
successful in their hunting. 


The men are nearly always to be found in the kashim when in the 
village, this being their general gathering place, where they work on 
tools or implements of the chase, or in preparing skins. 

Dances and festivals of all kinds are held in this building, and there 
the shamans perform some of their most important ceremonies. The 
eld men gather there and repeat the traditions of their fathers. The 
younger ones are thus instructed and become familiar with the tales 
and wisdom of the elders. 

It is the usual place for the reception of guests; and there is scarcely 
an occurrence of note in the life of an Eskimo man which he can not 
connect with rites in which the kashim plays an important part. This 
is essentially the house of the men; at certain times, and during the 
performance of certain rites, the women are rigidly excluded, and the 
men sleep there at all times when their observances require them to 
keep apart from their wives. 

Games are played there in winter by men and boys, and twice or three 
times a day food is brought by the women from the surrounding houses. 
Unmarried men sleep there at all times, as they have no recognized 
place elsewhere, except as the providers of food for their parents or other 
relatives dependent on their exertions. The sleeping place, near the 
oil lamp which burns at the back of the room opposite the summer 
entrance, is the place of honor, where the wise old men sit with the 
shamans and best hunters. The place near the entrance on the front 
side of the room is allotted to the worthless men who are poor and con- 
tribute nothing to the general welfare of the community, also to orphan 
boys and friendless persons. 

The first time a child is taken into a kashim in the village of its 
parents, the latter present a gift to each person present at the time 
as a propitiatory offering and to secure the good will of their neigh- 
bors. A similar custom is observed by all strangers arriving at the 
village; they are required to dance and sing a little and, if on an ordi- 
nary journey, are supposed to make presents according to their means. 

All messengers who reach villages for the purpose of announcing a 
festival or an invitation to other observances in their own town, deliver 
their message in the form of a song while dancing in the kashim. 

In the summer of 1879 a party of Eskimo from East cape, Siberia, 
and the Diomede islands in Bering strait, came to St Michael. On 
their arrival they sang and danced in the kashim, makiug offerings to 
the people. The songs and dances were very similar to those I had 
seen performed on Sledge island in honor of the fur trader aud myself 
during our winter visit to that place. 

At the time of this visit we entered the kashim and gave the headman 
some tobacco to distribute among the men present and some needles 
for the women. These he divided among them, and afterward the men 
who took part in the dance as representatives of the community gave 
us each a small present, which was considered as establishing friendly 


feeling between us, extending the privilege of the kashim, and as a 
testimony of the good will of the inhabitants. 

South of the Yukon the fur traders make a practice of complying 
with this custom of giving presents whenever they visit a village for 
the first time, and at St Michael we did the same whenever we were 
invited to attend the first autumnal festival; but the Eskimo do not 
expect the white men to dance and sing, as would be obligatory with 
tbeir own people. 

The presents are always handed to the headmen of the village, who 
divide and distribute them among their fellow townsmen. All guests 
whom it is desired to honor are given seats on the side of the kashim 
where the old men of the village sit. If that side of the kashim 
chances to be fully occupied, some of the men make room for their 
guests. At a village near the head of Norton sound I was given 
the usual place of honor in the kashim, and when the women brought 
in food a dish of boiled seal intestines was presented to me as a spe- 
cial delicacy. 

The observance of giving presents and of placing the old men and the 
guests at the head of the kashim is customary also among the Tiune of 
the Yukon, who have adopted these customs from the Eskimo. 

The men usually wear no clothing while in the kashim, but this being 
the custom it does not excite the slightest notice. The women fre- 
quently sit upon the floor by their relatives until the latter have fin- 
ished their repast, or sometimes leave after delivering the food and 
return later to remove the empty dishes. During festivals, dances, and 
other ceremonies the women gather in the kashim as spectators and 
sometimes take part in the performances. 


In these buildings sweat baths are taken by men and boys at inter- 
vals of a week or ten days during the winter. Every man has a small 
urine tub near his place, where this liquid is saved for use in bathing. 
A portion of the floor in the center of the room is made of planks so 
arranged that it can be taken up, exposing a pit beneath, in which a lire 
of drift logs is built. When the smoke has passed off and the wood is 
reduced to a bed of coals, a cover is put over the smoke hole in the 
roof and the men sit naked about the room until they are in profuse 
perspiration ; they then bathe in the urine, which combines with the oil 
on their bodies, and thus takes the place of soap, after which they go 
outside and pour water over their bodies until they become cool. While 
bathing they remain in the kashim with the temperature so high that 
their skin becomes shining red and appears to be almost at the point 
of blistering; then going outside they squat about in the snow perfectly 
nude, and seem to enjoy the contrasting temperature. On several 
occasions I saw them go from the sweat bath to holes in the ice on 
neighboring streams and, squatting there, pour ice water over their 




backs and shoulders with a woodeu dipper, apparently experiencing the 
greatest pleasure from the operation. 

Throughout the region visited the men, while taking their sweat 
baths, are accustomed to use a cap made of the skin of some waterfowl, 
usually the red- or black-throat loon. The skin is cut open along the 
belly and removed entire, minus the neck, wings and legs; it is then 
dried and softened so as to be pliable and is fastened together at the 
neck in such a way that it can be worn on the head. Owing to the 
intense heat generated in the fire pit, the bathers, who are always 
males, are obliged to use respirators to protect their lungs. These are 
made of fine shavings of willow or spruce bound into the form of an 
oblong pad formed to cover the mouth, the chin, and a portion of the 
cheeks. These pads are convex externally and concave within; cross- 
ing the concave side is a small wooden rod, either round or square, so 

that the wearer can 
grasp it in his teeth 
and thus hold the 
respirator in posi- 

Some of the res- 
pirators are made of 
shavings bound to- 
gether at each end 
by a few strands of 
the same material 
and furnished with 
a wooden holder. 
Others are more 
elaborately made, as 
in the example from 
Shaktolik shown in figure 9G. This is a little over 5 inches in length 
and 4 inches broad, and is made of fine wood shavings; it is smoothly 
oval in outline, with the border rounded by means of a rope-like band 
of shavings tightly wound with a cord made of the same material. 
Inclosed within this oval ring is a soft mass of shavings held in posi- 
tion by a loosely twisted cord made of the same. On the inner side 
the shavings are packed loosely and held in position by the rod or 
mouthpiece which crosses the pad horizontally. 


The dwelling houses are the domain of the women. From one to 
three families may occupy the platforms in the single room which the 
house contains, but each is quite separate and independent in all of its 
domestic arrangements. Each woman who is the head of a family has 
an oil lamp beside her sleeping bench where she sews or carries on her 
household work. Her own cooking utensils and wooden dishes for food, 

Fig. 96— Kespirator, front view (A). 

nelson] NATAL CUSTOMS 289 

together with the stock of seal oil, dried salmon, and other articles of 
domestic economy, are kept at one side of the platform or in a corner 
of the room devoted to this purpose. 

When the time approaches for the preparation of a meal, a lire is 
built in the middle of the room and the food made ready, after which 
each woman places a quantity in one or more wooden dishes, takes it to 
the kashim, aud sets it beside her husband, father, or whoever she has 
provided for. 


During childbirth old women who are reputed to have skill in such 
matters act as midwives. Formerly, among the Unalit, when a woman 
was confined with her first child she was considered unclean and put out 
in a tent or other shelter by herself for a certain period. This custom is 
now becoming obsolete, but it is still observed by the Eskimo of 
Kaviak peninsula, by the Malemut, and by other remote tribes. In one 
case that came to my knowledge a young Malemut woman was confined 
with her first child at a village on the lower Yukon. It was midwinter, 
but she was put outside in a small brush hut covered with snow and 
her food handed her by her husband through a small opening. Despite 
the intensely cold weather, she was kept there for about two months. 

When a child is born it is given the name of the last person who 
died in the village, or the name of a deceased relative who may have 
lived in another place. The child thus becomes the namesake and 
representative of the dead person at the feast to the dead, as described 
under the heading of that festival. In case the child is born away 
from the village, at a camp or on the tundra, it is commonly given the 
name of the firfet object that catches its mother's eyes, such as a bush 
or other plant, a mountain, lake, or other natural object. 

The name thus given is sometimes changed. W^hen a person becomes 
old he takes a new name, hoping thereby to obtain an extension of life. 
The new name given is usually indicative of some personal peculiarity, 
and, after a person makes a change of this kind, it is considered 
improper to mention the former one. Some of the Malemut dislike 
very much to pronounce their own names, and if a man be asked his 
name he will appear confused and will generally turn to a bystander, 
asking him to give the desired information. 

Formerly it was a common custom to kill female children at birth if 
they were not wanted, and girls were often killed when from 4 to 6 
years of age. Children of this sex are looked upon as a burden, since 
they are not capable of contributing to the food supply of the family, 
while they add to the number of persons to be maintained. When 
infants are killed they are taken out naked to the graveyard and there 
exposed to the cold, their mouths being filled with snow, so that they 
will freeze to death quickly. 

Near St Michael I saw a young Malemut girl of 10 or 12 years, 
18 etii 19 


who, soon after birtli, had been exposed in this manner with her mouth 
filled with snow. Fortunately for the child, this occurred close to a 
trading station. By accident the trader found her a few moments 
later, and by threats succeeded in making the mother take her back. 
The child was afterward reared without farther attempt on the part of 
the parents to take its life. 

One of the Eskimo told me that if a man had a girl not more than 5 
or G years old who cried much, or if he disliked it for any reason, or 
found it difficult to obtain food for the family, he would take it far out 
on the ice at sea or on the tundra during a severe snow storm, and 
there abandon it to perish by exposure. 

A man at St Michael was in my house one day and told me in a 
casual way that his wife had given birth to another girl, and added, 
"At first I was going to throw it away on the tundra, and then I could 
not, for it was too dear to me." This man was one of the most intelli- 
gent Eskimo I knew. He had been associated with t^e Russians and 
other white men since early boyhood, and was one of the so-called con 
verts of the "Russian church; yet the idea that a man was not perfectly 
justified in disposing of a girl child as he saw fit never for a momeut 
occurred to him. 

On the other hand, a pair of childless Eskimo frequently adopt a 
child, either a girl or a boy, preferably the latter. This is done so that 
when they die there will be some one left whose duty it will be to make 
the customary feast and offerings to their shades at the festival of the 
dead. All of the Eskimo appear to have great dread of dying without 
being assured that their shades will be remembered during the fes- 
tivals, fearing if neglected that they would thereby suffer destitution 
in the future life. *• 

In March, 1880, while on a journey to Sledge island, just south of 
Bering strait, we were accompanied for the last 75 miles by the wife of 
our Eskimo interpreter, who was a fine looking woman of about 30 
years and was heavy with child. She went with us in order that her 
confinement might take place among her own people, who lived on the 
island. Notwithstanding her condition, she tramped steadily through 
the snow with the rest of us day after day, and on the morning of our 
arrival at the island she was in the room with us talking and laughing 
when she became suddenly ill, went to her mother's house, and was 
delivered of a fine boy in less than half an hour. Directly after the 
birth a shaman came in and borrowed from me a drum and a small 
ivory carving of a white whale, which I had purchased on the road. 
The father explained that the image of the whale was borrowed to put 
in the child's mouth so as to feed him upon something that would make 
him grow up a fine hunter. The shaman beat the drum and sang for 
half an hour over the boy to make him stout-hearted and manly. The 
woman remained at this village a few days and then walked back the 
75 miles to her home, carrying the child on her back. 



Among the Maleinut, and southward from the lower Yukon and adja- 
cent districts, when a girl reaches the age of puberty she is considered 
unclean for forty days; she must therefore live by herself in a corner of 
the house with her face to the wall, and always keep her hood over her 
head, with her hair hanging disheveled over her eyes. During this time 
she must not go out by day and but once each night when every one is 
asleep, but if it is summer tbe girl commonly lives in a rough shelter out- 
side the house. At the end of the period she bathes and is clothed in 
new garments, after which she may be taken in marriage. The same 
custom formerly prevailed among the Unalit, but at present the girl is 
secluded behind a grass mat in one corner of the room for the period of 
only four days, during which time she is said to be a'-gii-lm-ffa'-guk, 
meaning she becomes a woman, and is considered unclean. A peculiar 
atmosphere is supposed to surround her at this time, and if a young 
man should come near enough for it to touch him it would render him 
visible to every animal he might hunt, so that his success as a hunter 
would be gone. Should a considerable time pass after a girl reaches 
puberty and no suitor appear, the father accumulates a large amount 
of food and makes a festival for the purpose of announcing that his 
daughter is ready for marriage. 


Among the Unalit when a young man sees a girl he wishes to marry 
he tells his parents and one of them goes to the girl's parents to ask 
their consent. Having obtained this, the suitor dresses in his finest 
clothing and goes to the bride's house with a new suit of garments, 
which he puts upon her and she becomes his wife. If the parents of 
either party have no children at home, the newly married couple go to 
live with them; otherwise they set up an establishment of their own, 
either building a new house or sharing one with some one else. 

The Unalit frequently marry first cousins or remote blood relatives 
with the idea that in such a case a wife is nearer to her husband. One 
man said that in case of famine, if a man's wife was from another family 
she would steal food from him to save her own life, while the husband 
would die of starvation ; but should a woman be of his own blood she 
would share fairly with him. The wife is considered to become more a 
part of the husband's family than he of hers. However, brothers and 
sisters, and step-brothers and step-sisters, do not intermarry. 

From the lower Yukon to the Kuskokwiin child betrothals are com- 
mon and may occur in two ways. The parents of a very small girl 
who have no son may agree with the parents of several sons that one 
of the boys shall live with them and become the girl's husband. Again, 
a young boy may sometimes choose a family, containing a girl, in which 


he would like to live. In such case lie takes with him his clothing 
and implements, besides a fine suit of clothes for his future bride, and 
leaving his own parents, goes to the people whom he has adopted, and 
transfers filial duty of every kind to his adopted, father to the exclusion 
of his own parents. In such cases the girl is frequently not over 4 or 5 
years of age. Sometimes such arrangements are made by a couple 
to take effect when the first girl is born. 

In these child marriages when the girl reaches puberty both she and 
her husband are considered unclean, and neither of them is permitted 
to take part in any work for a month, at the end of which period the 
young husband takes presents to the kashim and distributes them. 
After this he enjoys the rights of other heads of families. 

Men who are able to provide for them frequently take two or even 
more wives. In such cases the first wife is regarded as the head of the 
family and has charge of the food, but either may carry food to the 
kashim for the husband. A man may discard a wife who is a scold, or 
unfaithful to him, or who is niggardly with food, keeping the best for 
herself. On the other hand, a woman may leave a man who is cruel to 
her or who fails to provide the necessary subsistence. When a husbaud 
finds that his wife is unfaithful he may beat her, but he rarely avenges 
himself on the man concerned, although at times this may form an 
excuse for an affray where enmity had previously existed between the 
parties. An old man told me that in ancient times when the husband 
and a lover quarreled about a woman they were disarmed by the neigh- 
bors and then settled the trouble with their fists or by wrestling, the 
victor in the struggle taking the woman. It is a common custom for 
two men living m different villages to agree to become bond fellows, or 
brothers by adoption. Having made this arrangement, whenever one 
of the men goes to the other's village he is received as the bond 
brother's guest and is given the use of his host's bed with his wife 
during his stay. When the visit is returned the same favor is extended 
to the other, consequently neither family knows who is the father of 
the children. Men who have made this arrangement term one another 
Jcin / -i-g , un ,m , each terms the other one's wife nu-U-u'-yuk, and the chil- 
dren of the two families call each other Jcdt-Jcnun/. Among people south 
of the Yukon the last term is sometimes used between children of two 
families where the man has married the discarded wife of another. 

It is frequently the case that a man enjoys the rights of a husband 
before living regularly with the woman he takes for a wife, and noth- 
ing wrong is thought of it, unmarried females being considered free to 
suit themselves in this regard. 


Blood revenge is considered a sacred duty among all the Eskimo, and 
it is a common thing to find men who dare not visit certain villages 
because of a blood feud existing, owing to their having killed some one 

nelson] BLOOD REVENGE 293 

whose near relatives live in the place. On different occasions I had 
men go with ine where they dared not go*without the protection afforded 
by a white man's presence. In one place a man kept by me like a 
shadow for two days and slept touching me at night. The man who 
held the feud against him would come into the house where we stopped 
and sit for hours watching the one with me like a beast of prey, and the 
mere fact that my Eskimo companion was with a white man was all 
that saved him. 

In another case a boy of 14 years shot and killed a man who had 
murdered his father when the boy was an infant. The duty of blood 
revenge belongs to the nearest male relative, so that if the son is an 
infant, and too young to avenge his father at the time, it rests with him 
to seek revenge as soon as he attains puberty. If a man has no son, 
then his brother, father, uncle, or whosoever is nearest of kin must 
avenge him. 

In the case of the boy mentioned, the man who had killed his father 
lived in the same village with him until he became grown. One morn- 
ing, as the man was preparing to hitch up his dogs and start on a trip, 
the boy's uncle handed him a loaded rifle and told him that it was time 
to avenge his father's death; the boy at once went outside and, taking 
deliberate aim, shot the man dead. Fortunately the dead man had no 
relatives, or it would have devolved upon them to retaliate by killing 
the boy. 

Owing to this custom, a man who has killed another watches inces- 
santly, and in the end his eyes acquire a peculiar restless expression 
which the Eskimo have learned to recognize at once. Several of them 
told me that they could always recognize a man who had killed another 
by the expression of his eyes, and from cases observed by myself I think 
that this is undoubtedly true. 

The desultory feud existing between the Kotzebue sound Malemut 
and the Tinne of the interior partakes of the character of blood revenge, 
except that each side seeks to avenge the death of relatives or fellow 
tribesmen upon any of the opposing tribe. 

Stealing from people of the same village or tribe is regarded as 
wrong. The thief is made ashamed by being talked to in the kashim 
when all the people are present, and in this way is frequently forced to 
restore the articles he has taken. An old man at St Michael told me 
that once a number of men took an incorrigible thief and while some 
held him others beat him on the back of his hand until he roared with 
pain, but that the fellow stole just the same afterward, and nothing- 
farther was done except to talk to him in the kashim. To steal from a 
stranger or from people of another tribe is not considered wrong so 
long as it does not bring trouble on the community. 

The Eskimo living about the trading stations have adopted some 
ideas in regard to this matter from the whites. As a result of this, 
coupled with the memory of some wholesome chastiseineuts that have 


followed theft at various times, the property of white men is tolerably 
safe in most places. 

The only feeling of conscience or moral duty that I noted among the 
Eskimo seemed to be an instinctive desire to do that which was most 
conducive to the general good of the community, as looked at from their 
point of view. Whatever experience has taught them to be best is 
done, guided by superstitious usages and customs. If asked why they 
do certain things, they would almost invariably reply, "We have 
always done so." But in most cases an underlying reason could be 
obtained if they were questioned further, and if they had sufficient 
confidence in the questioner to express themselves to him freely regard- 
ing their deepest beliefs. 

A curious innate distrust of strangers, or of people apart from them- 
selves, was shown by the common demand for pay in advance when 
they were asked to do anything for white men. This was seen repeat- 
edly among the Unalit, yet I do not suppose that in all their dealings 
with white men during recent years they had known of an instance in 
which one was employed without being paid m full, 

In the same way they would hesitate and even refuse to give white 
men any articles of value to be paid for at another time. On the other 
hand, it was a constant practice among them to obtain credit at the 
trading stations, to be paid when they should have procured the neces- 
sary skins. In this, however, they were very honest, paying all debts 
contracted in this manner. 

During my residence at St Michael I saw men trusted for goods who 
came from distant villages and were scarcely known by sight to the 
traders. This would often happen when the man lived in a village 100 
or 200 miles away. 

On one occasion an Eskimo came to St Michael in midwinter from 
near Kotzebue sound, bringing a mink skin to settle a dej)t which he 
had contracted with the trader the previous year. If this man had 
desired to do so, he need not have come and the trader would have 
had no means of obtaining his pay. This was but one of many such 
cases that came to my notice. 

A curious part of this custom was that very often the same Eskimo 
who would be perfectly honest and go to great trouble and exertion to 
settle a debt would not hesitate to steal from the same trader. Among 
themselves this feeling is not generally so strong, and if a man borrows 
from another and fails to return the article he is not held to account 
for it. This is done under the general feeling that if a person has 
enough property to enable him to lend some of it, he has more than lie 
needs. The one who makes the loan under these circumstances does 
not even feel justified in asking a return of the article, and waits for it 
to be given back voluntarily. 

My interpreter, a full-blood Eskimo, once told me that he had loaned 
an old pistol the season before and the borrower had never returned 


it. I asked him why he did not ask for it, as they lived near each 
other in the same village. To this he replied that he could not, and 
must wait for the man to bring the pistol back of his own accord. 

Begging is common only among those Eskimo who have had consider- 
able intercourse with white men. This custom has evidently come about 
through indiscriminate giving of presents. From St Michael south- 
ward to the Yukon mouth, and thence up the river to Ohukwhuk, the 
people have had more dealings with white men than elsewhere in the 
region covered by my travels. They were also the most persistent 
beggars that I met, and in some villages were so importunate that they 
fairly drove me away 

The people not accustomed to meeting white men were little addicted 
to begging, and their manners were usually much more frank and 

Hospitality is regarded as a duty among the Eskimo, so far as con- 
cerns their own friends in the surrounding villages, and to strangers 
in certain cases, as well as to all guests visiting the villages during 
festivals. By the exercise of hospitality to their friends and the people 
of neighboring villages their good will is retained and they are saved 
from any evil influence to which they might otherwise be subjected. 
Strangers are usually regarded with more or less suspicion, and in 
ancient times were commonly put to death. 

During my sledge journeys among them I experienced a hospitable 
reception at most of the places, but on a few occasions the people were 
sullen and disobliging, apparently resenting my presence. At Cape 
Nome and on Sledge island during a winter visit I found the people 
extremely kind and hospitable. 

At the time of our arrival at Sledge island the inhabitants were so 
destitute that their dogs had all died of starvation, and some of the 
people were living upon scraps. Owing to the lack of food for our 
dogs the trader and myself decided to return at once to the mainland, 
but the headman and several of the other villagers surrounded us, 
urging us to stay over two nights, in order that they might show their 
appreciation of our visit, and assuring us at the same time that they 
would find something for our dogs. 

True to his promise, the headman went out among the villagers and 
the women soon came to us, bringing little fragments of seal meat, 
blubber, and fish, so that we finally gathered enough food for our dogs. 
We were shown to the best house in the place, and in the evening, when 
we had unrolled our blankets, the headman asked if we wished to 
sleep. When we replied that we did, he at once sent out all of the 
people who had congregated there with the exception of the owners of 
the house. 

Stopping on Sledge island at this time we found a number of King 
islanders from farther north in Bering strait. They had come down the 
coast, visiting at various villages in order to live upon the people, as 


the food supply at their own home had been exhausted. They were a 
strong, energetic set of men, and, being bold and dishonest, did not 
hesitate to bully and otherwise terrify the more peaceable villagers into 
supplying them with food. 

In the morning after my arrival at Sledge island a knife was stolen 
from my box of trading goods, and on making this known to the head- 
man he sent out a small boy, who returned in a few moments with the 
knife, everyone apparently knowing who had committed the theft. 

A little later one of the King island men, who was sitting close by 
me, and who had traveled down the coast with the trader and myself 
the previous day, tried to steal a small article from me but was 
detected in the act, and I at once ordered him to leave the house. To 
this he paid no attention. I then seized him by the right arm, and 
when he saw that I was in earnest his face grew dark with passion, but 
he did not hesitate to take up his mittens and leave the room. He did 
not return during the day, but that evening when the people had left the 
room and the trader and myself were preparing for bed, we noticed that 
the headman of the village was still seated by the entrance way on the 
other side of the room, although everyone else had left and the family 
occupying the house were asleep. Making down our beds upon the 
floor, we wrapped ourselves in the blankets. We had a suspicion that 
the cause of the headman's presence was due to the trouble that I had 
had with the King islander during the day, and I awoke several times 
during the night and found him sitting wakeful by the entrance hole. 
About 3 oclock the next morning I was awakened by a slight noise, 
and, raising my head cautiously, heard someone creeping in through the 
passageway. A moment later the head of the thief whom I had sent 
out and shamed before his companions the day before was thrust into 
the room. In an instant the watchful headman had taken him by the 
shoulder and spoke rapidly to him in an undertone. In a few minutes 
the King islander drew back and went away. The headman remained 
in his place until we arose in the morning. During the day we left 
the island and at a hut on the mainland encountered the same King 
islander, he having left the village immediately after going out of the 

I have always considered that the watch kept by the headman dur- 
ing that night was all that prevented an attempt by the King islander 
to obtain revenge for my having offended him. 

When we came to the first hut on the mainland, upon our return 
from the island, the Eskimo living there urged us to remain all night, 
and when we refused to do this he insisted on our going in to eat some 
crabs and dried fish with him before resuming our journey. 

Near Cape Darby we were welcomed in a cordial way and made to 
join in a feast of freshly killed seal, and in villages on the lower Yukon 
I met the same hospitable treatment. 

At some other places our reception was the reverse of this. In the 

nelson] HOSPITALITY 297 

large village of Kofiigunugumut, near the mouth of the Kuskokwim, 
I was given a very surly reception, and it was almost necessary for me 
to use force before I could get anyone to guide me to the next village. 
On the contrary, at Askiuuk and Kaialigamnt, in the same district, the 
people ran out at our approach, unharnessed our dogs, put our sledges 
on the framework, and carried onr bedding into the kashim with the 
greatest good will. 

At King island, in Bering strait, the same spirit was shown by the 
people during the visit of the Coricin, when they insisted on having us 
enter their houses. Their attention sometimes became embarrassing, 
as in one instance when I was stopping in a house on the outer side of 
St Michael island. An old man came home from tishing in the afternoon 
and was given a small tray containing tomcod livers and berries, kneaded 
by his wife into a kind of paste. From his trinket box he took an old 
spoon fastened to a short wooden handle and began eating the mix- 
ture with great pleasure, until he suddenly remembered that there was 
a guest present. At this he stopped eating and, wiping the bowl of the 
spoon on the toe of his sealskin boot, gravely handed it and the dish 
to me, whereupon I declined them with equal gravity. 

That morning I had fallen into the water while hunting, and as a 
consequence remained in the house all day to dry my clothes. At one 
time or another during the day nearly everyone in the village came to 
see me, and in every instance my hostess placed a few tomcods before 
the callers. 

This practice of offering a small quantity of food to guests is con- 
sidered to be proper among the Eskimo. Wherever I visited them, 
and any people of the same village came in in a social way, they were 
given food, unless everyone was on the verge of famine. 

On October 3, 1878, 1 arrived at Kigiktauik in a large kaiak with two 
paddle men. As we drew near the village one of the men welcomed 
us by firing his gun in the air, and then ran down to help us land, after 
which he led the way to his house. The room was partly filled with 
bags of seal od and other food supplies, and the remaining space was 
soon occupied by a dozen or more villagers, who came to see us aud 
were regaled with the tea that was left after I had finished my supper, 
and soon after my blankets were taken to the kashim, where I retired. 

A small knot of Eskimo were gathered in the middle of the room 
around a blanket spread on the floor, and were deeply interested in a 
ganleof poker, the stakes being musket caps, which were used for chips. 
Scattered about on the floor and sleeping benches were a number 
of men and boys in varying stages of nudity, which was entirely justi- 
fied by the oppressive heat arising from the bodies of the people congre- 
gated in the tightly closed room. Two small seal-oil lamps, consisting 
of saucer-shape clay dishes of oil with moss wicks, threw a dim light 
on the smoke-blackened interior. In a short time the planks were 
taken up from over the fire pit, and a roaring fire was built for a sweat 


batli. The men and boys brought in their urine tubs, and wore loon- 
skin caps on their beads. Each one had a respirator made of fine wood 
shavings woven into a pad to hold in the teeth to cover the lips and 
nostrils, without which it would not have been possible for them to 
breathe in the stifling heat. When the wood had burned down to a 
bed of coals the cover was replaced over the smoke hole in the roof, 
and when the men had perspired enough they bathed and then went 
out to take a cold-water douche. 

In the winter of 1880 I traveled around the northern coast of Norton 
sound and found many of the villages on the verge of famine. This 
was due mainly to the fact that they had eaten most of their supplies 
early in the season, trusting to the weather being such that they could 
take sufficient fish for their needs later on. As the winter turned out 
to be excessively severe, nearly all of the dogs along this coast were 
starved and the people were on very short allowance for a long time. 
Just north of Unalaklit I camped in a small hut 10 by 12 feet in area 
and 5J feet high in the middle. Three families were living in this 
house, and including my party numbered sixteen adults who occupied 
the room that night. The air was so foul that when a candle was 
lighted it went out, and a match would flare up and immediately become 
extinguished as though dipped in water. After making a hole in one 
corner of the cover of the smoke hole the air became. sufficiently pure 
for us to pass the night without ill effect. 

At the village of Uhaktolik, just beyond the last place mentioned, I 
found a room 15 by 20 feet in area and 6 feet high, where we numbered 
twenty-five people during the night of our stay. 

Wherever we found the people with a small food supply they were 
usually quiet and depressed; but at a village on the northern shore of 
Norton sound, where food was plentiful, everyone appeared to be in 
the greatest good humor. 

During the summer food is more abundant than in winter, and the 
people are more cheerful at that season and inclined to give a heartier 
welcome to a stranger. The winter season being one of possible famine, 
there is generally a slight feeling of uncertainty regarding the future. 

When we landed from the Corwin at a summer trading village on 
the shore of Hotham inlet, in Kotzebue sound, we were surrounded at 
once by two or three hundred people, all shouting and smiling good 
naturedly. They crowded about us with the greatest curiosity, and 
several at once volunteered to carry my camera and box of trading 
goods to one of the lodges. We walked along in the midst of a rabble 
of fur clad figures and a great variety of strong odors which they 
exhaled. The dirty brown faces, ornamented with the huge stone 
labrets of the men and the tattooed chin lines of the women, were alive 
with animation; their mouths were wide open and their eyes glistened 
with curiosity and excitement. Before us moved a crowd of fat chil- 
dren, who tried to run ahead and look back at the same time, so that 


they were constantly falling over one another. Entering one of the 
lodges where the owner had carried my stock of trading goods, I pro- 
ceeded to purchase such ethnological material as was brought me by 
the people. 

The eagerness to see the strangers was so great that a dense crowd 
outside pressed against the frail walls of the lodge until the frame- 
work was broken in several places. At this the owner became offended 
and insisted on my giving him a present to pay for the damage thus 
done by his fellow-villagers. 

At Cape Espeuberg we landed at another summer village of five 
lodges, where some thirty people were stopping. Several upturned 
sleds and umiaks, and supplies of dried seal and walrus meat lay scat- 
tered about, and a freshly killed seal was lying under an old piece of 

Fastened to stakes in a circle about the camp were over twenty dogs, 
which set up a howl of welcome as we landed, their cries being joined 
by the voices of the children. The women and children ran down to 
the shore to meet us, and the whole party was very friendly. 

At Cape Lisburne we found a camp of people from Point Hope. 
Nine umiaks were drawn up on the shore and braced up on one edge 
by sticks and paddles. Scattered about on the ground were sealskin 
bags of oil and large pieces of walrus and whale meat. Just back of 
the umiaks were the conical and round-top lodges, where the men 
and the women of the camp were walking about or sitting in the sun, 
engaged in sewing or in other work. These people were dressed in fur 
clothing, which was very ragged and daubed with dirt and grease, 
presenting an extremely filthy appearance. In one of the lodges an 
old woman, stripped to the waist, was rolling up a bed. Children 
played about the lodges with small, fat puppies, and numerous well-fed 
dogs prowled listlessly through the camp. 

Between the lodges ran a clear, sparkling brook, entering the sea 
over the pebbly beach, and just back of the camp rose high cliffs, 
fronting the shore. 

Before we left they broke camp. The umiaks were launched, oil 
bags, tents, clothing, meat, and supplies were bundled into them, and 
several dogs being harnessed to the towline from each umiak, they 
started up the coast, a single person from each umiak remaining on 
shore to drive the dogs. 

The people of the islands and shore of Bering strait and Kotzebue 
sound are notorious among the trading vessels for pilfering. On 
several occasions the villagers of Cape Prince of Wales fairly took 
possession of vessels with small crews, and carried off whatever they 

While in the village at East cape, Siberia, the children were con- 
stantly trying to steal small objects from me and repeatedly attempted 
to take my handkerchief from my pocket. At Point Hope, while I was 


buying' ethnological specimens in the village, one of the men suddenly 
began talking and demanded some tobacco, saying that he bad not 
been paid enough for something which he had sold me. He assumed an 
air of anger and in a loud voice and with many gestures tried to bully 
me into giving him something additional; while he was motioning with 
his hands to emphasize his demands I noticed that he had concealed 
in his palm a small comb, which I at ouce recognized as having been 
stolen from my box of trading goods. I immediately grasped his wrist 
and wrested the comb from his hand, calling him a thief. His com- 
panions, who had undoubtedly seen him take the article, laughed at 
him in ridicule at his being caught, whereupon he slunk away without 
further word. 

As with all savages, the Eskimo are extremely sensitive to ridicule 
and are very quick to take offense at real or seeming slights. 

When among their own tribesmen in large villages they frequently 
become obtrusive, and the energetic, athletic people about the 
shores of Bering strait and northward are inclined to become over- 
bearing and domineering when in sufficient numbers to warrant it. On 
the other hand, when traveling away from their native places in 
small numbers, among strangers, they become very quiet and mild- 
mannered. When we landed at Point Hope a great crowd of people 
came running down to the beach, crying, u a-sln', d-sm', v meaning a a 
present, a present," and caught hold of us on either side. They hung 
to our arms and clothing, continually asking for presents. Two men 
ran along on each side of the captain of the Corwin, begging for the 
gloves he wore, while others kept trying to steal some tobacco leaves 
which I was carrying under my arm. 

The whalers give the people of this locality a bad reputation, as they 
do likewise those of Point Barrow. During the summer of our visit a 
whaling vessel was crushed by the ice pack just off Point Barrow, and 
the crew threw upon the ice a large quantity of provisions, clothing, 
and other articles before the vessel sank. The Eskimo at the point 
had seen the accident and with their dog sleds hurried out to the 
wreck where they at once set to work to loot everything they could get 
hold of. They rau aloft like monkeys and cut away the sails, which, 
with the sails of the small boats, they carried ashore. 

They stole the clothes chests of the officers, the chronometers, charts, 
and the ship's books; the latter they tore up, and the next day, when 
the officers tried to recover some of their clothes, they refused to deliver 
them, and wore them about before the eyes of the owners. The 
wrecked crew went ashore and camped near the place occupied by the 
Eskimo, who were living upon canned meats and crackers from the 
ship's stores, and refused to permit any of the whalers to take any 
unless it was paid for with some of the small supply of tobacco which 
had been saved. As a consequence, the wrecked crew were forced to 
give up what few things they had been able to save and were forced 


to live for some time upon seal and walrus meat, while their Eskimo 
neighbors were feasting upon the provisions from the wreck. 

Owing to the constant danger of being wrecked at this point and 
cast ashore among these people, the whalers fear to offend them 
and constantly make them presents. The Eskimo recognize this as 
being a sort of peace offering resulting from a feeling of fear, and 
they are therefore insolent and overbearing. When they came on 
board the Concin they were sulky, and any slight contradiction seemed 
to render them very angry. 

The Malemut at the head of Kotzebue sound are another vigorous, 
overbearing tribe. As among the Eskimo of Bering strait, they are 
quarrelsome and have frequent bloody affrays among themselves. The 
Unalit and Yukon people regard them with the greatest fear and hatred 
and say that they are like dogs — always showing their teeth and ready 
to fight. The Malemut are the only Eskimo who still keep up the old 
feud against the Tinne, and are a brave, hardy set of men. They are 
extremely reckless of human life, and a shaman was killed by them 
during my residence at St Michael, because, they said, "he told too 
many lies." 

The} 7 buy whisky from trading vessels and have drunken orgies, dur- 
ing which several persons are usually hurt or killed. In 1879 a fatal 
quarrel of this kind took place on Kotzebue sound; the people said it 
was the fault of the Americans for selling them whisky, and the rela- 
tives of the dead men threatened to kill with impunity the first white 
man they could in order to have blood revenge. 

They also had the reputation of being extremely treacherous among 
themselves, not hesitating to kill one another, even of their own tribe, 
when opportunity offered while hunting in the mountains — a gun or a 
few skins being sufficient incentive. As a consequence, hunters among 
this tribe would not go into the mountains with each other, unless they 
chanced to be relatives or had become companions by a sort of 
formal adoption. 

One intelligent Malemut, who was a fine hunter, told me it was very 
hard work to hunt reindeer in the mountains, as a man could only 
sleep a little, having to watch that other men did not surprise and kill 

One winter, while preparing for a sledge journey into the Malemut 
country, my Unalit interpreter begged me not to go, saying that the 
Malemut were very bad people. He was soon followed by the head- 
man of the Unalit at St Michael, who repeated the injunction, assuring 
me that the "dogs of Malemut" would surely kill me if I went. 

On the other hand, the Malemut despise the Unalit, saying that they 
are cowards and like children. When the Concin anchored off Cape 
Prince of Wales in Bering strait, the people came off to us in a number 
of umiaks. They halted at some distance from the vessel and shouted, 
" nu-Jcu-rulc, nu-Jcu-ruJCj" meaning " good, good," in order to assure us of 


their friendly disposition. When they were motioned to come along- 
side, they approached hesitatingly until some of them recognized me, 
having seen me during a visit they had made to St Michael the previ- 
ous year. At this they began to shout vociferously to attract my 
attention, and immediately came on board. This lack of confidence 
was caused by the fact that these people had. looted a small trading 
vessel the year before, and later in the same season, when they boarded 
a larger ship, they had been very roughly handled. 

When the trading umiaks from the shores of Bering strait made 
their summer visits to St Michael, the people were always remarkably 
civil and quiet, in marked contrast to their manner when seen about 
their native place. At Cape Prince of Wales I went ashore in a small 
boat with a couple of men. On our way we met an umiak with twelve 
or fifteen paddlers; as they came near they turned and paddled straight 
at our little dingy, whooping and shouting at the top of their voices 
and coming so directly at us that I feared they would run us down. 
When within a boat's length the paddle men on one side suddenly 
backed water while those of the other side made a heavy stroke, causing 
the big umiak to turn as on a pivot and. shoot astern of us. As we 
landed several hundred people ran down to meet us and as many as 
could get hold of our boat seized it along the sides and dragged it some 
25 or 30 yards up the beach with us still seated in it; afterward, when 
I wished to go on board, it was only with the greatest difficulty that I 
could get one of them to help launch the boat. 

As already noted, the people at Point Hope were boisterous and 
confident when we saw them at home, but later in the season when we 
met several umiaks with people from that place near Cape Lisburne, 
they came within about 150 yards of the Corivin and then all raised 
their empty hands over their heads, shouting " nu-ku-ruk, nu-ku-ruk," 
until the officer of the deck called to them, after which they came on 
board, but were very quiet. 

The Malemut extend their wanderings from Kotzebue sound even to 
Kuskokwim river and Bristol bay, but hardy as they are they have the 
same prudence in avoiding trouble while away from home. One case 
illustrating this came to my knowledge in connection with a party of 
them who were camping beside a village of Kuskokwim Eskimo. One 
of the Malemut became enraged at a Kuskokwim man, and hastened 
into his tent to obtain a weapon. Two of his companions went after 
him and. tried to persuade him to give up his idea of revenge for the 
slight affront, but he refused to listen to them and went out. His two 
fellow tribesmen then took him, one by each arm, and walked along, 
still trying to dissuade him from his project. When he again refused 
to listen to them, the man on his right suddenly drew his long sheath 
knife and slashed, him in the abdomen, completely disemboweling him, 
so that he sank down and died in a few moments. In speaking of it 
afterward, the man who had done the killing said that if they had 


been among their own people be would not have interfered, but added: 
" We were only a few among the Kuskokwim men, and if our companion 
had killed one of their men they would have killed all of us, and it 
was better that he should die." 

It was not uncommon among the Eskimo, particularly about the 
shores of Bering strait and northward, for some man of great courage 
and superior ability to gather about him a certain following and then 
rule the people through fear; such men usually confirmed their power 
by killing any one who opposed them. In order to keep their follow- 
ers in a friendly mood, they made particular effort to supply them 
with an abundance of food in times of scarcity, or to give them presents 
of clothing at festivals 5 they also try to secure the good will of white 
men whenever they think it to their interest to do so. 

At Point Hope we saw such a chief, who had killed four men and 
had the entire village terrorized. The people were overawed by his 
courage and cunning, and hated him so much that a number of them 
went quietly to the captain of the Conoin and begged him to carry the 
man away. 

During our stay at Point Hope this fellow was never seen without a 
ride in his hand, and the people said he always carried it, During the 
trading on the Corwin. whenever one of the villagers was offered a fair 
price for one of his articles and began to haggle for a greater one, this 
man would quietly take the goods offered and give them to the other, 
who would then accept them without another word. I tried to procure 
his photograph, but he became very nervous and could not be made to 
stand quiet, until he was told that it would be very bad for him if he 
did not. As soon as I had taken his photograph he insisted on having 
me stand in the same position that he had taken while being photo- 
graphed. Then he looked under the cloth covering the camera, and 
when he saw my image on the ground glass he appeared to be greatly 
pleased, seeming to think that he had thus counteracted any ill effect 
that might follow in his own case. 

While stopping at a village near the head of Norton sound I was 
shown a man who was badly crippled, and my informant gave me the 
history of the manner in which he received his injury. He went out 
with three companions hunting reindeer in the mountains, back of the 
head of Norton sound. At night they made camp, and placing a 
spruce log under a light shelter, all lay down, side by side, using the 
log for a pillow. A man who entertained enmity against one of the 
party had followed them from their own village; in the night, while they 
were asleep, he crept up and fired his rifle into the head of the man 
upon one side in such a manner that it was in line with the heads of 
the others, and the ball passed through the heads of three of the men, 
killing them instantly. The other one sprang to his feet, but before he 
could collect his wits he was struck down by the clubbed gun in the 
hands of the murderer, and beaten until he appeared to be dead. The 


murderer, then calmly returned to the village as though nothing had 
happened. In the course of the next twenty-four hours tbe man who 
had been beaten managed to crawl back to the village, where, after a 
long illness, he finally recovered, but was badly crippled for life. The 
one who had done the killing made no further effort to molest him, and 
no one attempted to avenge him for the murder of the other three men. 
The murderer and the survivor continued to live in the same village 
for years. 

The Alaskan Eskimo, so far as I observed, have no recognized chiefs 
except such as gain a certain influence over their fellow-villagers 
through superior shrewdness, wisdom, age, wealth, or shamanism. 
The old men are listened to with respect, and there are usually one 
or more in each village who by their extended acquaintance with the 
traditions, customs, and rites connected with the festivals, as well as 
being possessed of an unusual degree of common sense, are deferred to 
and act as chief advisers of the community. , 

On the lower Yukon and beyond to Kuskokwim river such leaders 
are termed nas-kuk, meaning literally "the head." Among the Unalit 
Eskimo they are called iin-ai-yu-'kdli, "the one to whom all listen." 

These terms are also applied to men who gain a leadership by means 
of their greater shrewdness, whereby they become possessed of more 
property than their fellows, and by a judicious distribution of food 
and their superior force of character obtain a higher standing and a 
certain following among the people. 

The man who has accumulated much property, but is without ability 
to guide his fellows, is referred to merely as a rich man or tii-gu. 

All Eskimo villages have a headman, whose influence is obtained 
through the general belief of his fellow villagers in his superior ability 
and good judgment. These men possess no fixed authority, but are 
respected, and their directions as to the movements and occupations of 
the villagers are generally heeded. 

In some cases a headman may be succeeded by his sou when the 
latter has the necessary qualities. An example of this was the Eskimo 
named Tiil-ya-luk, the headman at Unalaklit, whose father had been 
one of the best headmen in that region. 

In some villages, where trading stations are established, the traders 
are accustomed to make a sort of chief by choosing men who are 
friendly to the whites, and who at the same time have a certain amount 
of influence among their people. In order to have any standing in a 
position of this kind a man must be endowed with a greater amount 
of good sense and ability than the majority of his fellows. Usually 
these headmen have greater force of character than their associates 
and are either feared or liked by them; in either case their position is 
assured. If at anytime another man shows superior ability or skill in 
promoting the welfare of the village, the older leader may be replaced 
by common consent. 


Among the Malemut, as also among tbe Eskimo of Bering strait and 
the adjacent Arctic coast, an active trade is carried on. In this region it 
is common for the shrewdest man in each village to accumulate several 
hundreds of dollars' worth of property and become a recognized leader 
among his fellows. 

The Eskimo are very jealous of anyone who accumulates much prop- 
erty, and in consequence these rich men, in order to retain the public 
good will, are forced to be very open-hauded with the community and 
thus create a body of dependents. They make little festivals at which 
are distributed food and other presents, so that the people appreciate 
the fact that it is to their interest to encourage the man in his efforts 
toward leadership, in order that they may be benefited thereby. 

In every trading expedition these men are usually the owners of the 
umiaks, and control the others, even to the extent of doing their trad- 
ing for them, but the authority of such a leader lasts only so long as 
he is looked upon as a public benefactor. Such men make a point of 
gathering an abundant supply of food every summer in order that they 
may feed the needy and give numerous festivals during the winter. 
Sometimes they obtain a stronger influence over the people by combin- 
ing the offices of shaman with those of headman. 

Whenever a successful trader among them accumulates property and 
food, and is known to work solely for his own welfare, and is careless 
of his fellow villagers, he becomes an object of envy and hatred which 
ends in one of two ways — the villagers may compel him to make a feast 
and distribute his goods, or they may kill him and divide his property 
among themselves. When the first choice is given him he must give 
away all he possesses at the enforced festival and must then abandon 
the idea of accumulating more, under fear of being killed. If he is 
killed his property is distributed among the people, entirely regardless 
of the claims of his family, which is left destitute and dependent on 
the charity of others. This was done at the time of the killing of 
A-gun-a-pai'-ak, at Unalaklit. This man was a native of the Kaviak 
peninsula, on the coast of Bering strait, and had been forced to leave 
there after having killed a man, for fear of the dead man's relatives 
taking blood revenge. He had located at Unalaklit, and by his domi- 
neering character and ability as a trader became one of the most prom- 
inent leaders among the people of that region. He plotted to capture 
and rob the trading station at St Michael, and was prevented from 
carrying out the plan only by the timidity these people manifest when 
dealing with white men. 

He constantly made trading voyages by umiak to Bering strait in 
summer, and in winter made long sledge journeys. Wherever he went 
lie was accompanied by various hangers-on and was feared by the people 
he visited. During my residence I knew of several murders he had 
committed, some of which were very atrocious. In one instance he 
18 eth 20 


wished to go to St Michael in his umiak during the summer, and being 
short of an oarsman he seized a woman living in Unalaklit and thrust 
lier aboard the boat. The woman's husband was crippled so that he 
needed her services, and to prevent his wife from going he hurried 
down to the shore and tried to detain her. This enraged the headman, 
who drew his knife and killed the husband on the spot, and, leaving 
Mm where he lay, pushed off and made the trip, the wife serving at the 
oar during the entire time. The following winter this man became 
extremely overbearing and very free with his threats toward various 
X>eop]e, and at last threatened the life of his brother-in-law for having 
refused to join in the murder of some people in order to get their furs. 
The brother-in-law received information of this, and entering the man's 
Louse one night while he was sleeping, struck him on the head with an 
ax, killing him instantly. The man's son, a grown youth, was sleeping 
in the room and sprang up at the sound of the blow and was struck 
clown by his uncle, who had just slain the father. After this occur- 
rence the people of the surrounding villages felt greatly relieved. Yet, 
from that time forth, the man who had done the killing was constantly 
under the influence of fear from the expectation that blood revenge 
might be taken by relatives of the dead man. 

The nephew of this man killed a fur trader on Kuskokwim river 
in a very brutal manner and was arrested by the fur traders at St 
Michael in the spring of 1877. His younger brother had been impli- 
cated in the murder, and as soon as Kun'-u-gan was arrested be turned 
to the men who took him, saying, " Kill me, but do not hurt my brother." 
He kept repeating this, evidently thinking that the men would execute 
vengeance on him at once. He was placed on board a vessel and sent 
to San Francisco, where he was condemned to five years' imprison- 
ment. There he was reported to have become an industrious workman 
and a favorite with the prison officials. 

The men who aspire to be leaders make it a special point to put 
themselves as nearly as possible on an equal footing with white men, 
and become very sullen and angry if they are not treated with greater 
consideration than their fellows. 

From Bering strait northward the rich man becomes known as 
w'-mi-a'-lik, or the umiak owner. During the time that war was car- 
ried on between the tribes the best warrior planned the attack, and 
was known among the Unalit as mu-gokh'-cli-ta. He, however, had no 
fixed authority, as each one fought independently of the others, but all 
combined in the general onslaught. An enemy was termed um'-i-Ms'- 
tu-gdj or " one who is angry with me." 

One born in another village is termed a-um'-td. A stranger is tun- 
Zn' '-u-hdkh' r , or " seen the first time." This term is also applied to strange 
objects of any kind. A person belonging to the same clan is recog- 
nized as a relative, u-jo'-huk'. 

The Eskimo of Norton sound speak of themselves as Yu'-pik, meaning 


fine or complete people. An Indian, or Tinne, is termed Ifh-M'-lik) from 
in'-Tcik, "a louse egg; " this is a term of derision, referring to the fact 
that the long hair of the Tinne is commonly filled with the eggs of 
these parasites. The Eskimo practice the tonsure, so that their hair is 
not so conspicuous as that of the Tinne. The Eussians are termed 
K(is-('il', from Cossack; all other whites are known as A-gHV-uk. 

Among the Unalit, with the exceptions mentioned below, whatever 
a man makes, or obtains by hunting, is his own. 

When a man dies some of his implements and other articles are 
placed by his grave and the remainder are divided among his children 
and other relatives, the former usually receiving the larger share. The 
wife generally makes the distribution soon after her husband's death, 
often on the day of the funeral. In some cases, however, if a man's 
blood relatives are greedy, they make the division among themselves, 
leaving very little for the family. 

To the sons usually pass the hunting implements, while the orna- 
ments and household articles go to the wife and daughters. If there 
are several sons the eldest get the least, the most valuable things 
being given to the youngest. Articles of particular value, such as 
heirlooms {pai-tu'k), go to the youngest son, as does also the father's 
rifle, which, however, is used by the eldest brother until the younger 
one is old enough to use it. 

When a man dies his sons, if old enough, support the family; other- 
wise they are cared for by relatives. 

The most productive places for setting seal and salmon nets are cer- 
tain rocky points which guard the entrances to bays. The right to use 
them is regarded as personal property, and is handed down from father 
to son. After the death of the father the sons use these places in com- 
mon until all of the brothers, save one, get new places at unoccupied 
points. If anyone else puts a net in one of these places the original 
owner is permitted to take it out and put down his own. These net 
places are sometimes rented or given out on shares, when the man who 
allows another to use his place is entitled to half the catch. 

The first deer, seal, white whale, or other kind of large game killed 
by a young man is brought to the village, and there one of the old men 
cuts it up and divides it among the villagers, without leaving a particle 
for the young hunter; this is done, they say, that the young man may 
be successful afterward in hunting. If a net is set for any particular 
game and something else is caught, the latter also is divided among 
the villagers in the same way, it being said that if this is done other 
animals of the same kind will come to the net. This is the practice 
when a white whale is caught in a seal net or a seal in a salmon net. 

Seals killed with gun or spear may be taken at once to the village, 
but all seals taken in nets in the fall must be stored in a cache built of 
stones and covered with logs and stones. These storage places are 
built on the shore near the places where the nets are set. The cache 


is called Tcn-u-nuk'. If a seal carcass is taken from the netting place 
or from the cache and carried to the village before the netting season 
is over, it is claimed that all the other seals will know it and become 
angry, so that no more will be taken during that season. 

If meat is needed a piece of flesh may be cut from the seals and 
carried overland to the village, but a person must be very cautious 
and keep away from the shore. At the close of the netting season tlie 
seal bodies may be taken from the cache and carried to the village by 

The idea that unexpected game is a kind of treasure trove is firmly 
fixed in the minds of these people. On occasions when I sent men out 
to shoot waterfowl and they chanced to kill a seal they always consid- 
ered the latter their own property, although they were hired to hunt 
and were paid for their time. In such instances if I obtained the seal 
it was by paying for it in addition to the regular wages. Their invari- 
able reply when asked about this would be: "You said, nothing about 
killing a seal, so it is mine." 

On one occasion, while stopping for a short time in a small village 
just west of Cape Darby, on the shore of Norton sound, I refused to 
buy the ivory carvings and other ethnological specimens offered, telling 
the villagers that I would return in a few days and buy the things they 
had to sell. On my return I found the entire village was offended at 
my having refused to buy their articles on the former visit, and not one 
of them would trade with me. 

As a rule the Eskimo sold their implements and ivory carvings at 
prices fixed by myself and seemed to regard it as a great piece of sport 
that anyone would be simple enough to purchase such objects. At 
Sabotnisky, on the Yukon, the people took whatever I offered, and 
laughed over obtaining such prizes as needles, buttons, tobacco, etc, 
in exchange for such objects, saying that I was giving away my goods. 

In large villages the people would frequently struggle to get within 
reach of me, each striving to be first, saying that my goods would be 
gone before they could get any of them. At a village on the' lower 
Yukon it was amusing to witness the absurd delight some of the natives 
exhibited when I bought their carvings and other small objects. 

About St Michael the children were always pleased to be employed 
on little errands or jobs of light work, and they were eager to trap and 
bring me mice and shrews for specimens. They were given in return 
gun caps, matches, or ship's bread, and the deliberate gravity with 
which some of them would decide what they would have for a mouse 
was very amusing. They are very mischievous in a quiet way, delight- 
ing in petty practical jokes on one another. One day I surprised a boy 
10 years of age who was following close behind me mimicking my 
motions, while his comrades stood at a safe distance greatly enter- 
tained by the performance. 

The young men are cheerful, light-hearted, and fond of jokes and 


amusement. During my hunting excursions, whenever I had several 
young men along they were continually telling stories, joking, singing, 
etc. When in camp and during all-night festivals in winter I fre- 
quently heard them laugh at one another for being sleepy. At one 
of the bladder feasts a young fellow who could scarcely keep his eyes 
open replied to the sallies made at his expense by saying that he saw 
three of everything he looked at and accused his comrade sitting next 
to him of being unable to find his mouth with the food before him. 

Among the furs offered us at Point Hope was the skin of an Arctic 
hare with the tail of a fox sewed upon it as a practical joke. After 
they had sold all of their valuable articles, they were persistent in 
offering worthless things, and would laugh heartily when these were 
rejected. The same men would return again and again, repeatedly 
offering something which had been refused, and seemed to be greatly 
amused each time. 

They are quick to express their ideas by signs when dealing with 
people who do not understand their language. At Point Hope the 
men kept holding up their hands together in a cup-shape position, 
locking the palms and wagging their heads from side to side in a droll 
way to indicate that they wished to get some whisky with which to 
become drunk. 

On the lower Yukon and southward there is a trading custom known 
as pd-tukh' '-tuk. When a person wishes to start one of these he takes 
some article into the kashim and gives it to the man with whom he 
wishes to trade, saying at the same time, "It is a pa-tulch' '4uJc. v The 
other is bound to receive it, and give in return some article of about 
equal value; the first man then brings something else, and so they 
alternate until, sometimes, two men will exchange nearly everything 
they originally possessed; the man who received the first present being 
bound to continue until the originator wishes to stop. 

The fur traders sometimes take advantage of this custom to force an 
Eskimo to trade his furs when they can get them in no other way. A 
fur trader told me of securing in this way from one man the skins of 
30 mink, 8 land otters, 4 seals, and 2 cups and saucers; finally the 
Eskimo wished to give his rifle, but at that the trader stopped the 


In treating diseases the most common method is for the shamans to 
perform certain incantations. There are cases, however, in which more 
direct methods are pursued; blood letting is commonly practiced to 
relieve inflamed or aching portions of the body. For this purpose 
small lancets of stone or iron are used. In one instance I saw a man 
lancing the scalp of his little girl's head, the long, thin, iron point of 
the instrument being thrust twelve or fifteen times between the scalp 
and the skull. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

Fig. 97— Lancet pointed with nephrite (f). 

One of these laucets (figure 97) was obtained on the northern shore 
of Norton sound. It is a small, thin, double-edge blade, of hard, pale- 
greenish stone, 
an inch and an 
eighth in leugth, 
ened at 
the butt, 
which is inserted in the split end of a short wooden handle 
and Avrapped tightly with a strong sinew cord. I saw other 
old instruments of this kind made of slate, but at present 
most of the lancets are similar in shape but are made of iron. 
An aching tooth is extracted by placing the square point 
of a piece of deerhorn against it and striking the other end 
a sharp blow with an object used as a mallet. 

On the islands in Bering strait I saw men using long- 
handle scratchers to relieve irritation caused by eruptions 
on the skin or by parasites. Figure 98 illustrates one of 
these implements which was obtained on Sledge island. It 
consists of a wooden rod about 17 inches in length, having a 
thin-edge ivory disk an inch in diameter fitted on one end. 
In the collection obtained in Labrador by Mr L. M. Turner, 
there is a specimen of a similar instrument. 


The burial customs of the Eskimo with whom I came in con- 
tact vary so greatly that I have given in detail an account 
of the observances noted in different localities, beginning with 
the Unalit at St Michael. 

The following are Unalit terms used by the St Michael 
people : 

Corpse ttV -ko-maV -u-g'i-a (dead one). 

Spirit or shade td-g'un'-u-ghdk. 

Ghost, or visible shade a-lhi-ukh'-toJc. 

Grave kun-u'. 

When a person dies during the day his relatives, amid loud 
wailing, proceed at once to dress him in the best clothing 
they possess, using, if possible, garments that have never 
been worn. Should the death take place at night, the body 
is not dressed until just at sunrise the following morning. 
Some of the male relatives or friends go out and make a 
rude box of drift logs in the usual burial place, which is a 
short distance back of the village. During this time the Fia - 98 - Back 
body lies in its place on the sleeping platform, with the oil 
lamp burning day and night close by, until the burial, while the rel- 
atives and friends sit about on other sleeping benches. When the box 




is completed, either on the same day or the next, the body is placed 
in a sitting posture with the heels drawn back against the hips and 
the knees resting against the chest; the elbows are drawn down 
against the sides, and the forearms and hands are bent so as to clasp 
the abdomen, the right hand and arm being placed above the left. 
Figure 99 shows the position of the body ready for burial. It is then 
wrapped in grass mats or deerskins and bound tightly with rawhide 
cords. By means of cords the body is usually raised through the smoke 
hole in the roof, but is never taken out by the doorway. Should the 
smoke hole be too small, an opening is made in the rear side of the house 
and then closed again. The body is taken to the grave and placed 
upon one side in the box, below it being placed the deerskin bed of 
the deceased, and over it his blankets. If the deceased be a man, his 
pipe, flint and steel, tinder, and pouch of tobacco are placed in the box,, 
and, if a snuff' taker, his snuff-box and tube. Then the cover of rough 
planks or logs is put on and fastened down 
with logs or stones. In case of a man, his pad- 
dle is planted blade upward in the ground near 
by, or is lashed to a corner post of the box itself, 
so that the relatives and friends may see the 
W ' hlin-uJc or totem mark, and thus know whose 
remains lie there. 

If the grave box is made of planks the totem 
picture is usually drawn upon its front in red or 
black, or sometimes the front bears the picture 
of some animal which the father of the dead 
man excelled in hunting. If the father took 
part in a war party against the common enemy 
of his tribe, then the figure of a bow is painted 
on the box. Should this receptacle be of such 
a nature as not to permit the making of pic- 
tures upon its surface, they are drawn on a small piece of board made 
for the purpose and fastened to the end of a stick five or six feet long, 
and the latter is planted at the side or at one end of the box. In a con- 
spicuous place on a corner post of the grave, or on posts set up for 
the purpose, are placed the dead man's snowshoes, spears, bow and 
arrows, or gun; upon the ground by the grave is laid his open work 
bag, with all the small tools in place, and his kaiak frame is set 
close by. 

Should the deceased be a woman, her workbag, needles, thread, and 
fish knife are placed beside her in the box. Her wooden dishes, pots, 
and other belongings are placed by the grave, and to the corner post 
are hung her metal bracelets, deer tooth belt, and favorite wooden dish, 
and sometimes a fish knife. The markings upon the grave box, or on 
the small board made for the purpose, are those of her family totem, 
or illustrate the exploits of her father, as is done in the case of a man. 

Fig. 99— Position of burial of 
the dead at St Michael. 


These customs, with certain variations, are still observed. At St 
Michael I saw a father's grave marked with his totem picture, while 
on the grave box of his son close by was the picture of the animal 
which the father had excelled in hunting. 

When the grave with its various belongings is arranged, the rela- 
tives make small offerings of food of different kinds, and pour water on 
the ground beside it, after which all go home. 

During the day on which a person dies in the village no one is per- 
mitted to work, and the relatives must perform no labor during the 
three following days. It is especially forbidden during this period to 
cut with any edged instrument, such as a knife or an ax; and the use 
of pointed instruments, like needles or bodkins, is also forbidden. This 
is said to be done to avoid cutting or injuring the shade, which may be 
present at any time during this period, and, if accidentally injured by 
any of these things, it would become very angry and bring sickness or 
death to the people. The relatives must also be very careful at this 
time not to make any loud or harsh noises that may startle or anger 
the shade. 

In ancient times the TJnalit of this vicinity exposed their dead on 
the open tundra back of the village, throwing their weapons and tools 
beside them. It was the custom to lay the body at full length on its 
back and plant two sticks about three feet long, one ou each side of the 
head, so that they would cross over the lace. The old man who told 
me this said that everyone used to be thrown on the ground in this 
manner, but he thought that it was from seeing the grave boxes made 
for the dead in other places that the Unalit had been led to adopt the 
present custom. The use of grave boxes undoubtedly came from the 
south, as it was observed that their greatest elaboration was fouud 
south of the territory occupied by the Unalit, while to the northward 
the Malemut still throw out many of their dead. My informant added 
that it was better to keep the dead in grave boxes, for it kept their 
shades from wandering about as they used to do; besides, it was bad 
to have the dogs eat the bodies. 

If the deceased was a hunter, the totem of his father was usually 
painted on his grave box at the time of the burial, but if he was not a 
hunter this totem picture was not made on the box until the stake of 
invitation to the feast of the dead was planted by the grave the follow- 
ing winter. (See account of festivals to the dead.) If the person was 
disliked, or was without relatives to make a feast, no totem markings 
were put on the box. If he was a very bad man he was buried in a box, 
while food and water were offered to the shade; but no weapons or 
other marks of respect were placed beside the grave, no feast was made 
to his memory, and he was forgotten. 

About eight miles from the village of Kigiktauik I saw the remains 
of a body with a sled. My Eskimo companions told me it was the 
body of a man who had died in the village from a loathsome disease, 




and the people bad brought it out there aud abandoned it without any 
attendant observances. 

Among the Unalit the graveyard is usually quite close to one side of 
the village, generally behind it or on a small adjacent knoll. The 
illustration (figure 100) from a photograph taken near St Michael, will 
show the method of disposing of the dead in that vicinity. 

During my residence at St Michael a shaman died, and the following 
notes were made on the observances that followed: 

Fiq, 100— Method of disposing oi the dead at St Michael. 

In consideration of the fact that the deceased had been a shaman, 
no one did any work in the village for three days following his death. 
The body, however, had been prepared and placed in the grave box 
ou the morning that he died. The night following, when the people 
prepared to retire, each man in the village took his urine tub and 
poured a little of its contents upon the ground before the door, saying, 
"This is our water; drink" — believing that should the shade return 
during the night and try to enter, it would taste this water and, finding 
it bad, would go away. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

During the first day after the death everyone near the village was 
said to be soft and nerveless, with very slight power of resistance, so 
that any evil influence could injure him easily; but the next day the 
people said they were a little harder than before, and on the third day 
the body was becoming frozen, so that they were approaching hardi- 
ness again. 

On the evening of the second day the men in every house in the vil- 
lage took their urine buckets and, turning them bottom upward, went 
about the house, thrusting the bottom of the vessel into every corner 
and into the smokehole and the doorway. This, it was said, was done to 
drive out the shade if it should be in the house, and from this custom 
the second day of mourning is called a-hlun'-ig-ut, or "the bottom day.' 7 
After this was done and the people were ready to retire for the night 
every man took a long grass stem and, bending it, stuck both ends into 
the ground in a conspicuous place in the middle of the doorway. They 
said this would frighten the spirit off, for should it come about and 

try to enter the house it would see this bent 
grass, and, believing it to be a snare, would 
go away, fearing to be caught. On the 
third morning, before eating, every man, 
woman, and child in the village bathed in 
urine, which cleansed them of any evil that 
might have gathered about their persons, 
and also rendered their flesh firm, so that 
they were hardy and able to withstand the 
ordinary influence of the shade. 

On the lower Yukon, below Ikogmut, the 
following customs were observed: 

These people are very averse to hav- 
ing a dead body in the house, and the 
corpse is placed in the grave box at the earliest possible moment. 
This is so marked that the relatives frequently dress the person in the 
new burial clothing while he is dying in order that he may be removed 
immediately after death. After death the body is placed in a sitting- 
posture on the floor; the knees are drawn up and the feet back, so that 
the knees rest against the chest and the heels against the hips; then 
the head is forced down between the knees until the back of the neck 
is on a line with the tops of the knees; the arms are drawn around 
encircling the legs above the ankles and just under the forehead. It 
is then tied with strong cords to hold it in this position and drawn up 
through the smoke hole in the roof and carried to the graveyard, where 
it is placed upon the top of an old grave box while one is being made 
for it. Figure 101 illustrates the position of the body ready for burial. 
When the box is ready, usually the next day, the body is placed in it 
upon a deerskin bed, while other deerskins or cloth covers are thrown 
over it. All of the small tools of the deceased are placed in the box 

Fig. 101— Position of burial of the dead 
on the lower Yukon. 




and a cover of rough planks is fastened down over the top with wooden 
pegs. Just before the body is placed in the box the cords that bind it 
are cut, in order, they say, that the shade may return and occupy the 
body and move about if necessary. 

The grave boxes in this vicinity are made of hewn slabs or planks, 
squared at the ends, and supported by a stout central piece from 
below, and frequently with four corner posts, which extend some dis- 
tance above the box. None of the relatives touch the body, this work 
being done by others. The housemates of the deceased must remain 
in their accustomed places in the house during the four days following 
the death, while the shade is believed to be still about. During this 
time all of them must keep fur hoods drawn over their heads to pre- 
vent the influence of the shade from entering their heads and killing 
them. At once, after the body is taken out of the house, his sleeping 
place must be swept clean and piled full of bags and other things, so 
as not to leave auy room for the 
shade to return and reoccupy 
it. At the same time the two 
persons who slept with him 
upon each side must not, upon 
any account, leave their places. 
If they were to do so the shade 
might return and, by occupy- 
ing a vacant place, bring sick- 
ness or death to its original 
owner or to the inmates of the 
house. For this reasou none of 
the dead person's housemates - - 
are permitted to go outside 
during the four days following 
tlie death. The deceased per- 
son's nearest relatives cut their hair short along the forehead in sign of 

During the four days that the shade is thought to remain with the 
body none of the relatives are permitted to use any sharp edge or 
pointed instrument for fear of injuring the shade and causing it to 
become angry and to bring misfortune upon them. One old man said 
that should the relatives cut anything with a sharp instrument dur- 
ing this time, it would be as though he had cut his own shade and 
would die. 

Near the upper end of the Yukon delta is a small graveyard in 
which was seen a newly made box placed over an old one made for a 
member of the same family. This new box was made of heavy hewn 
planks, painted red, and supported about a foot above the old one by 
the same set of corner posts, as shown in figure 102. 

To the pole erected before this grave were attached a cup, a spoon 

Fig. 102— Grave boxes, Yukon delta. 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

and a kaiak paddle, and a pair of umiak oars were placed against 
the box, which contained the body of a boy, the son of an old man in 
the village, who, it was said, was prohibited from doing any work for 
three moons following the death of his son. 

At each end of the boxes at this place was erected a post, to the top 
of which was fastened a cross-board bearing some articles of ornament 
or of value belonging to the deceased. The boxes were all supported 
two feet or more above the ground by corner posts, which extended 
several feet above their tops. 

At Eazbinsky the graveyard is placed immediately behind the kashim 
in the winter village, so near that the odor arising from the bodies 
becomes almost unbearable in the warm weather when spring opens. 
These grave boxes are well made and are ranged roughly in rows, 
forming an irregular square. At the time of my visit there were about 

thirty of them, some of which are 
shown in plate xci. 

They were made of hewn planks 
about 3J by 3 feet in horizontal 
measurement and 2 feet deep, and 
were raised about two feet from 
the ground on corner posts, with 
a fifth support formed by the 
bntts of small trees so planted 
that the spreading roots upturned 
supported the bottoms of the 
boxes, which Avere all painted red, 
and the posts were banded with 
the same color. The fronts of the 
boxes were ornamented with rows 
of bone pegs, as shown in the 
illustration (figure 103), and the corner posts were also ornamented in 
the same manner. 

On some of the boxes were rude figures in black of a man shooting 
with bow and arrow at a deer or bear. The number and arrangement 
of the bone pegs varied, but the general plan was the same. 

At Eazbinsky most of the utensils of the deceased were placed in the 
boxes with the bodies. A few old reindeer horns and some posts bear- 
ing invitation effigies for the feast to the dead were the main objects to 
be seen about these boxes. Beside some of them, however, were hewn 
boards five or six feet long, supported six or seven feet from the ground 
on two posts, and bearing the figures of skins of animals and other 
objects on their fronts. 

At the village of Starikwikhpak, just below Eazbinsky, were two 
grave boxes almost exactly like those just described. On the front of 
one of them was a large figure in black, representing a man shooting 
with bow and arrow at a reindeer. 

Fig 103— Burial box at Razlnnsky. 














At Kushunuk, near Cape Vancouver, the dead are placed with the 
knees drawn up against the chest, and the wrists are crossed and tied to 
the ankles in front. They are then buried in rude boxes, made of small 
drift logs, which are built on the ground near the village. About and 
upon the boxes are placed the tools and weapons of the deceased. 

Tununuk village, at Cape Vancouver, faces the sea; on a small flat 
and about 20 yards in front of the entrance to the kashim, between it 
and the sea, were three large wooden posts, representing human fig- 
ures, and several subordinate posts. They were of drift logs, 6 or 7 
feet high by 12 to 15 inches in diameter, without bark, and not carved 
except on the top. These were ranged in a row parallel to the beach 
and across the front of the kashim. The top of each post was carved 
to represent a human head and neck. Commencing on the left, as I 
faced them, the following account describes them in succession: 

The first post had its head covered with the remains of a fur hood, 
such as is worn by the people of this vicinity. The mouth and eyes 

Fig. 104 — Memorial images at Cape Vancouver. 

were made of ivory, inlaid in the wood ; from each shoulder of the fig- 
ure a walrus tusk curved outward and upward to represent arms. 
These tusks were notched above to form places for hanging objects; 
that on the right side bore suspended from it an ivory-handle fish 
knife, and near the body were several iron bracelets. From the tip of 
the left arm hung a small wooden dish, and nearer the body were more 
iron bracelets. About where the hips should be was another pair of 
walrus tusks inserted parallel to the upper ones, representing legs. 
The post was painted in broad, alternating bands of colors, commenc- 
ing at the head and going down in the following order, namely, red, 
white, black, white, red. To the left of this was a plain, upright post, 
to which hung an iron bucket, aud on the ground near its base was a 
wooden box containing a woman's workbag and outfit of clothing. 

The next large post represented a man, whose mouth and eyes were 
of inlaid ivory, and with tusks for arms and legs, as in the post first 
described. Two large bead labrets were at the corners of the mouth. 


At the base of this post a bow and quiver of arrows were fastened. 
Just behind it was a box full of man's clothing and small tools. 

On a small post to the right there was a wooden model of an umiak, 
and on another post to the left were five wooden models of kaiaks. 
Close to these last was another post, bearing on the board across its top 
nine images of the large hair seal. A fourth post bore a model of a 
kaiak, in which was a man holding a spear poised ready to cast. These 
symbols were explained to me as follows: The umiak and kaiak models 
showed that the person represented had made and owned these boats. 
The nine hair seals were the result of his greatest day's hunting, and 
the kaiak with the man seated in it showed that he had been a hunter 
at sea. 

The third large post was very old and dilapidated from long expo- 
sure. Its mouth, eyes, and arms, like the others, were of ivory, but it 
was not provided with legs. On two posts close by were models of a 
large hair seal and a reindeer, with a third post to, the right bearing 
the figure of a man in a kaiak with poised spear. This man was said 
to have been a good hunter both on laud and at sea, especially at sea. 

These posts (figure 104) were said to represent people who had been 
lost and their bodies never recovered. The first post was for a woman 
who had been buried by a landslide in the mountains, while the men 
were drowned at sea. I was told that among the people of this and 
neighboring villages, as well as of the villages about Big lake, in the 
interior from this point, it is the custom to erect memorial posts for all 
people who die in such a manner that their bodies are not recovered. 

Each year for five years succeeding the death a new fur coat or cloth 
shirt is put on the figure at the time of invitation to the festival for the 
dead, and offerings are made to it as though the body of the deceased 
were in its grave box there. When the shade comes about the village 
to attend the festival to the dead, or at other times, these posts are 
supposed to afford it a resting place, and it sees that it has not been 
forgotten or left uuhonored by its relatives. 

At several villages between Cape Vancouver and the mouth of 
Kuskokwim river were found grave boxes rudely made of driftwood, 
and about them were placed the usual display of guns, bows and arrows, 
paddles, and similar objects. 

At the next village to the south, beyond Cape Vancouver, the graves 
were located on a high knoll overlooking the village, and were unusually 
conspicuous on account of the long poles of driftwood which were 
erected near each, and to the tops of which an ax or a gun was 
usually fastened crosswise. 

At Big lake village, on the tundra, midway between Yukon and Kusko- 
kwim rivers, are a number of small wooden figures similar in character 
to those above described, and, like them, raised in honor of people whose 
bodies were lost. In front of many of the graves at this place were large 
headboards, made of hewn planks about four feet long, placed across 




the top of two upright posts. To the middle of these were pi lined from 
two to three wooden maskoids, representing human faces with inlaid 
ivory eyes and mouths; from holes or pegs at the ears hung small 
strings of beads, such as the villagers wear, and below the masks were 
bead necklaces, some of the latter being very valuable from the Eskimo 
point of view. The accompanying illustration (figure 105), from a sketch 
made on the spot, shows two of these maskoids. The graveyard at this 
place was very curious, having a large number of maskoids and images 
with curious ornamentation, but I was unable to remain long enough 
to give it a thorough examination. 

I was informed that the graveyards of the villages on the Kuskokwim, 
below Kolmakof Redoubt, are full of remarkable images of carved 
wood. One was described 
to me as being roofed J[ 1) 
with wooden slabs, and 
consisted of a life-size 
figure, Avith round face, 
narrow slits for eyes, and 
four hands like a Hindoo 
idol. Two of the hands 
held a tin plate each for 
votive offerings, and the 
body was dressed in a 
new white shirt and bore 
elaborate bead orna- 
ments. The abundance 
of carved figures in the 
graveyards of this dis- 
trict, as was noted also 
among those of the adja- 
cent Tinne of the lower 
Yukon, is very remarka- 
ble, and their use does 
not extend northward of the Yukon in a single instance, so far as could 
be learned. 

On lower Kuskokwim river the Eskimo believe that the shade of a 
male stays with the body until the fifth day after his death ; the shade 
of a female remains with the body for four days. On the Yukon and 
among the Eskimo to the north the shades of men and women alike 
are believed to remain with the body four days after death. Through- 
out this region the villagers abstain from all work on the day of the 
death, and in many places the day following is similarly observed. 
None of the relatives of the deceased must do any work during the 
entire time in which the shade is believed to remain with the body. 

Along the coast north of St Michael there is much less elaboration in 
the mode of burial. On the beach near Cape Nome, on the northern 

Fig. 105 — Monument board at a Big-lake grave. 



[ETH ANN. 18 

shore of Norton sound, several summer fishing camps were located, and 
among these were a few rude graves made by building up slight 
inclosures of drift logs and covering them with similar material. At 
one place in this vicinity was a cone-shape inclosure made by standing 
drift logs on end in a circle eight or nine feet in diameter, with their 
upper ends meeting. From the top of this projected a long pole, and 
inside was a wooden box containing the remains of a shaman, swung 
by cords midway between the ground and the top of the structure. 
This man, I was told, had caused himself to be burned alive two years 
before the time of my visit, in the expectation of returning to life with 
much stronger powers than he had previously possessed; but the hope 
of the shaman failed to become realized at the appointed time, so his 
body was inclosed in a box and the cone of driftwood was erected over it. 
Near the village at Cape Nome was a large burial box (figure 106) 

supported about 
Hi five feet above the 

( J ground on four 

posts. This box 
was made of rude, 
hewn planks cut 
from drift logs, and 
was said to be the 
grave of a noted 
shaman who could 
breathe fire from 
his mouth. The 
other graves about 
the village at this 
cape were roughly 
made of drift logs, 
with the remains 
of totem marks, 
stones, and imple- 
ments about them, very much like the drift- log burial places near St 
Michael, previously described. 

On Sledge island, in Bering strait, I examined, several graves on a 
sharp rocky slope of the island just above the village. These consisted 
of shallow pits among the rocks, surrouuded by rude lines of stones, 
forming rims, over which were laid drift logs held in j)lace by heavy 
stones. No implements or other marks of distinction were observed 
about these graves, possibly on account of their age. 

In July, 1881, 1 climbed the rocky hill above the Eskimo village at 
East cape, Siberia, and found the graves located just above and back 
of the houses among the rocks covering a long ridge. They were very 
rude, consisting of a shallow pit formed by taking out the stones and 
laying them to form a rectangular inclosure 6 or 8 feet long and 2 or 3 

Fig. 106 — Grave box at Cape Xome. 





i )■ 



feet wide. In these places the bodies were laid at full length upon 
their backs, with deerskin beds below, and over the top was a covering 
of rude planks or drift logs, or sometimes a 
small cairn. Upon and about the graves lay 
various implements of the deceased. 

Graves of men in this spot were marked with 
spearheads j those of the women with pot- 
sherds and stone lamps ; at one of these graves 
was the skull of a polar bear, and at another 
a few reindeer horns. The inclosures were so 
roughly and lightly made that the village 
dogs had robbed many of them of their con- 
tents. The graveyard extended along the 
hillside for nearly a mile just above and in 
sight of the village, and as I reached one of 
the graves quite near the houses I found a dog 
devouring the remains of a boy 10 or 12 years 
of age. Some village children who had fol- 
lowed me did not pay the slightest attention 
to this, although but a few days before the 
dead boy must have been their playmate. 

On the southern point of St Lawrence island 
I found the graveyard located about a mile 
back of the village. Some bodies had been 
placed under a cairn and others were laid at full 
length on the ground, with a ring of stones 
ranged around them and a stick of driftwood 
six or eight feet long either on the ground at 
the foot of the grave or planted so as to pro- 
ject at an angle like the bowsprit of a ship 
(figure 107). No implements were seen here. 
From the lack of graves near other villages 
visited on this island, it is probable that the 
villagers place their dead at a distance from 
their houses, as is the custom at Plover bay, 
Siberia. This may possibly account for the 
absence of children's bodies among the scores 
of victims of famine and disease which were 
found in two or three villages visited on this 
island. . At Plover bay, Siberia, the burial 
place was located at the base of the low spot 
on which the village stands, and about a mile 
from the houses. Some graves were on the 
flat at the foot of a rocky slope, and others 
on the rocky bench, about a hundred feet 
above. Many of the bodies were laid at full 
18 eth 21 

Fig. 107— Grave on St Lawrence 


length in shallow pits made by removing tbe rocks, and were covered 
with stones. Along the edges of the graves lines of small stones were 
arranged in a rude oval. Over the heads of some of them were piled 
four or five x>airs of reindeer antlers. 

A musket and numerous spears, with other implements, all broken 
so as to render them useless, were scattered about. Many of the 
bodies had been laid upon the ground and surrounded by an oval of 
stones, with a stick of driftwood at the foot, exactly as in graves seen 
on St Lawrence island. At none of those made in this manner were 
there any implements or other things deposited, and they may have 
been the burial i>laces of people from St Lawrence island. 

At Point Hope, just beyond Kotzebue sound, was a large graveyard, 
in which the bodies were placed in rude boxes built of driftwood, above 
the ground, and surrounded by implements. Still north of this, at 
Cape Lisburne, I found a solitary grave on the side of a ravine by the 
shore. It was an irregularly walled inclosure in rectangular shape, 
about 3 feet high, 3 feet wide, and 6 feet long, built of fragments of 
slate rock, and covered with drift logs. This grave was very old, as 
the skeleton was nearly destroyed by weathering, and no implements 
whatever were found. 


From Kuskokwim river northward to the shores of Bering strait and 
Kotzebue sound the Eskimo have a regular system of totem marks 
and the accompanying subdivision of the people into gentes. It was 
extremely difficult to obtain information on this point, but the follow- 
ing notes are sufficiently definite to settle the fact of the existence 
among them of gentes and totemic signs: 

Pictures, carvings, or devices of any kind, totemic or otherwise, are 
called d'-lhm-uk by the Unalit. People belonging to the same gens 
are considered to be relatives, termed u-jo'-huk' by the Unalit. 

Fig. 108 — Arrowpoint shoeing wolf totem signs (^). 

The gray wolf is called Mg' -u-lun' -uk ; the wolf totem or mark, 
Mg-u-lun' '-u-go' '-uk ; the wolf gens, kig' -u-lun' -u-go-alh 1 -i-git. 

Arrows or other weapons marked with the sign of the wolf or other 
animal totem mark are believed to become invested with some of the 
qualities of the animal represented and to be endowed with special 

Among other totem marks that of the wolf is well represented on 
some arrows with deerhorn points, used for large game by a party 
of Malemut who were hunting reindeer on Nunivak island. These 
arrows have two isolated barbs with a line along their base to repre- 
sent a wolf's back with upstanding ears, which are indicated by the 




two barbs. The same idea is expressed on the base of the arrowpoint, 
where an incised line about an inch in length is drawn along the sur- 
face of the bone with the two short, parallel, incised lines projecting 
from it. The arrowpoint illustrated to show this 'figure 108) was 

Fig. 109 — Spearhead representing a wolf ( T 7 B ). 

obtained on Nunivak island, but was made and used by a Malemut from 
the vicinity of Kotzebue sound. 

The wolf totem is exhibited on numerous spearheads of walrus ivory 
obtained at various places from the shore of Norton sound south- 

Fig. 110 — Spearhead representing a wolf (about §). 

ward to Kuskokwim river. These spearheads are usually well made, 
showing the mouth of the wolf open, with the line of teeth in relief 
around the open jaws, in the front of which is a hole lined with a 
wooden socket, in which the conical butt of the spearpoint is placed. 

Fig. Ill — Spearhead representing an otter (J). 

The nostrils and the eyes of the wolf are often represented by blackened 
incised lines; or they may be circular pits in which wooden pegs are set, 
or filled with a black substance, so as to show prominently. The wolf's 
ears are usually carved in relief, or are made of sharp-pointed pegs of 

Fig. 112— Spearhead representing an ermine (:!,). 

ivory set in the sides of the head. In the latter case the eyes also are 
made of round pegs of ivory, and the holes for the nostrils are plugged 
with wooden pins. Others have the eyes represented by blue or black 
beads inlaid in the ivory. The accompanying illustrations of two of 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

these give an idea of their general character. Figure 109 is from lower 

Kuskokwim river and figure 110 from Nunivak island. 

\ Nearly all the wolf spearheads have represented upon 

J£ the surface the form of the wolf's body in low relief, 

with the legs and feet extending around the under side. 

The representation of the wolf or of some other ani- 
mal totem seems to be common on this class of weap- 
ons, which are used principally for killing white whales 
or walrus. 

Figure 111 illustrates a similar spearhead obtained 
on Nunivak island. It is of ivory and represents the 
land-otter totem. The muzzle is rounded, with a cir- 
cular perforation for the eye. The mouth, nostrils, and 
muzzle are outlined by incised lines, but no teeth are 
shown. Along the sides are other incised figures, as 
shown in the illustration. » 

A spearhead from Chalitmut (figure 112) is carved 
to represent an ermine, indicating the totem mark of 
the owner. 

Women belonging to the wolf gens braid strips of 
I HI wolfskin in their hair, and young men and boys wear 

a wolf tail hung behind on the belt. It is said to have 
been tbe ancient custom for all to wear some mark about 
the dress by which the gens of each person might be 

Another gens among the Unalit is that of the ger- 
falcon (Falcorusticolus gyrfalco). The name for gerfal- 
con is cM-Tcubv'-l-uk; the gerfalcon totem, chi-kiibv'-i-a- 
go'-ulx; the gerfalcon gens, chi-Jeubv' '-i-a' '-go-uhV '-i-git. On 
spears and arrows this totem mark is made by bars of 
red paint, which are said to represent the bars on the 
gerfalcon's tail. These bars are shown on the arrow 
illustrated in tbe accompanying figure 113. On the 
bow represented in the same figure this totem is indi- 
cated by a red and black line along a shallow groove 
in the middle of the inside of the bow. 

The raven totem or mark is represented by an etched 
outline of the bird's foot and leg, forming a tridentate 


<• <■ 

Fig. 114— Simple forms of tbe raven totem. 

Fig. 113 — Gerfalcon 
totems on bow and 
seal spear. 

mark, or sometimes merely by an outline of the foot. 
Forms of this totem are shown in figure 114. 
At East cape, Siberia, I saw numerous arrow- and spear-heads of 




bone or ivory bearing the raven mark, and the same mark was seen 
tattooed on tlie forehead of a boy at Plover bay (figure 115). 

These marks are frequently seen on carvings, weapons, and imple- 
ments of almost every description. On clothing or 
wooden utensils it may be marked with paint. On the 
gut-skin smoke-hole cover of the kashim at Kigiktauik 
two raven signs were drawn close together, with a red 
spot in front of them, as shown in figure 116. 

On inquiry I was told that the man who presented 
the kashim with this cover had marked upon it his to- 
tem sign, and that the red spot in front was intended 
to represent the bloody mark in the snow where the 
raven had eaten meat. My informant added that 
sometimes a ring was drawn before the raven tracks 
on the cover to represent a seal hole in the ice. 

If a man who presented a cover to the kashim belonged to another 
gens, or if his ancestors excelled in hunting a special kind of large game, 

the figure of that animal was drawn 
on the cover. One man, whose ances- 
tors were noted for being successful 

Fig. 115— Raven totem 
tattooing on a Plover 
bay boy. 


!*/ '".".. ~~»~ 

Fig. 116 — Raven totems on smoke-bole cover. 

hunters of sea animals, drew three 
<-shape marks on the cover which he 
presented to the kashim, as follows . 
< < < . These marks were said to 
represent the rippling wake of an ani- 
mal swimming in the water. 

It is customary for hunters to carry 

about with them an object representing their totem. A man belong- 
ing to the raven gens carries in his quiver a pair of raven feet and 

a quill feather from the same bird. 

The gerfalcon man carries in his 

quiver a quill feather of that totem 


There are other marks which are 

somewhat different in significance 

from the totem mark, but which may 

be adopted for various reasons. At 

St Michael a man told me of three 

hunters who went out one winter 

during a famine, and after hunting 

for a long time could find no game. 

Finally one of them went back to 

their sledge and took from it the 

ham of a dog which he had brought with him. After eating some of 

this he started off again, carrying the bone with him. He had gone 

only a short distance when he encountered a seal and killed it. This, 


117 — Wolf totem signs on a storehouse 



[ETH. ANN. 18 

it was said, was due to the dog's ham-bone which he had with him, and 

thereafter he carried this bone and adopted a mark to represent it in 

place of his totem 
sign, as did his son 
after him. 

At Sabotnisky, on 
the lower Yukon, I 
saw an oval door of 
hewn boards in a 
storehouse, on which 
was marked, with red 
ocher, the outline of 
an extended wolfskin 
with the rude figure 
of a wolf outlined on 
tlie skin and sur- 
rounded by a circle 
(figure 117). In reply 
to a question, one of 
the villagers told me 
that it was the fam- 
ily mark of one of the 
villagers. "Allofour 
people," he added, 
"have marks which 
have been handed 
down by our fathers 
from very long ago, 
and we put them on 
all of our things." 

Another man at 
this village said that 
his ancient namesake 

had been a famous bowman, and once while hunting, having nothing 

but blunt-head arrows, such as are used for killing rabbits and other 

small game, came across a large red bear, which he immediately began 

to shoot; finally he broke all of the 

bear's bones and killed it. After this r 

he adopted the red bear as his sign and 

his descendants still use this mark. 
Figure 118 represents a thin board, 

on which tobacco is cut, which was 

Fig. 118— Tobacco board -with bear and loacb signs. 

Fig. 119 — Figures on a grave box. 

obtained at Sabotnisky. There is a 

broad, shallow groove along each side, 

succeeded by a small groove along its inner edge. The broad groove has 

two incised curved marks representing bear claws. On each side and 

nelson] TOTEM MARKS WARS 327 

Dear the end on each side is an incised crescentic mark with a pointed 
groove below, said to represent the mouth and barbel of a loach. At the 
base of each bear claw is inserted a tuft of white seal bristles, with an- 
other tuft on the edge close by and one on the tip of the barbel of the 
loach. About one-third of the distance from the front are crosslines rep- 
resenting a fish net stretched across the board. The edge of the board, 
including the broad groove, bear-claw incisions, and loach mouth, is 
painted red; the net is of dull bluish color. All of these marks have 
totemic meanings which I did not have an opportunity to determine. 

Figure 119 illustrates the figures painted on a grave box at Stari- 
kwikhpak, which indicates that the father of the deceased was a noted 
reindeer hunter. 


Previous to the arrival of the Russians on the Alaskan shore of 
Bering sea the Eskimo waged an almost constant intertribal warfare; 
at the same time, along the line of contact with the Tinne tribes of the 
interior, a bitter feud was always in existence. The people of the coast 
from the Yukon mouth to Kotzebue sound have many tales of villages 
destroyed by war parties of Tinne. Back from the head of Norton 
bay and Kotzebue sound, during the time of my residence in that 
region, several Tinne were killed by Malemut while hunting reindeer 
on the strip of uninhabited tundra lying between the districts occupied 
by the two peoples. During the summer of 1879 a party of three Male- 
mut from the head of Kotzebue sound ambushed and killed seven 
Tinne who were found hunting reindeer in the interior. 

As related by various Eskimo questioned by me, it appeared that a 
favorite mode of carrying on their ancient warfare was to lie in ambush 
near a village until night and then to creep up and close the passage- 
way to the kashim, thus confining the men within, and afterward 
shooting them with arrows through the smoke hole in the roof. Some- 
times the women were put to death, at other times they were takeu 
home by the victors; but the men and the boys were always killed. 

In those days villages were built on high points, where defense was 
more easily made against an attacking party and from which a lookout 
was kept almost constantly. When the warriors of one of the Unalit 
villages wished to make up a party to attack an enemy, a song of invi- 
tation was made and a messenger sent to sing it in the kashims at 
other friendly villages; meanwhile the men of the village originating 
the plot set to work in the kashim and made supplies of new bows and 
arrows and prepared other weapons while waiting tor their friends. The 
people invited would join the men from the first village and all would 
set out stealthily to surprise the enemy during the night. If they failed 
in this an open battle ensued, unless the attacking party became dis- 
couraged and returned home. Near St Michael there were shown me 
some of the old lookout places where the watchmen were stationed to 


guard against the approach of the Magemut, who lived just south of 
the Yukon mouth and were the chief enemies of the TJnalit. 

Near St Michael, on the top of an elevated islet close to the coast, is 
the site of an ancient village which had been surprised and destroyed 
by this last-named people long before the arrival of the Eussians in 
that region. Digging in some of the pits marking the places once 
occupied by houses, I found charred fragments of wood and various 
small articles belonging to the former occupants. 

The following account of the ancient warfare of the Eskimo on the 
lower Yukon and adjacent region southward was given me in January, 
1881, by an old man living near Andreivsky: 

The people of the lower Yukon and Pastolik fought against those 
living on the southern part of the Yukon delta and the country south- 
ward, including the villages at Big lake and in the Kuslevak mountains 
and the Magemut of the coast just south of the Yukon mouth. The 
old man said that the main war between these people started in a 
great village located near Ikogmut. Two boys were playing with a 
bone-tip dart, and one of them accidentally pierced his companion's 
eye; this so enraged the father of the injured boy that he caught the 
other and destroyed both his eyes. The fathers of the two boys then 
fought, one armed with a beaver-tooth knife and the other with a bone 
bodkin, the fight resulting in the death of both men. The quarrel was 
taken up by relatives and friends on both sides, the village became 
divided, and the weaker party was forced to leave the Yukon and go 
southward, where they settled. From that time continual warfare was 
carried on between them. 

Battles took place usually in summer, and the victors killed all they 
could of the males of the opposing side, even including infants, to 
prevent them from growing up as enemies. The dead were thrown in 
heaps and left. The females were commonly spared from death, but 
were taken as slaves. 

When young men fought in their first battle each was given to drink 
some of the blood and made to eat a small piece of the heart of the 
first enemy killed by them, in order to render them brave. An TJnalit 
at St Michael told me that in former days each of their young warriors 
always ate a small piece of the heart of the first enemy killed by him 
on a hostile raid. 

During the battles on the Yukon the best fighters used to throw 
themselves on their backs and kick their heels in the air in derision of 
the enemy when they approached one another. When any of the men 
exhausted their supply of arrows they would stand in front of their 
comrades and break those of the enemy with their spear shafts by 
striking them as they flew past. No shields were used. They said 
that if an arrow was coming straight at a man he could not see it, so 
it was very hard to avoid being hit, but that a man could readily see 
one flying toward another. Some of the warriors are said to have 
been very expert bowmen. My old informant told me that his name- 


sake was a famous bowman. On one occasion lie was said to have 
pinned an enemy to a wall of a Louse witli an arrow so that he could 
not release himself. 

If a light lasted a long time, so that both parties became tired and 
hungry or sleepy, a fur coat would be waved on a stick by one side as 
a sign of truce, during which both parties would rest, eat, or sleep, and 
then renew the conflict. During the truce both sides stationed guards 
who watched against surprise. Sometimes, the old man said, a man 
would be shot so full of arrows that his body would bristle with them, 
and, falling, be held almost free from the ground by their number. 

At times volleys of arrows were fired in order to render it more diffi- 
cult for the enemy to escape being hit. When one of the warriors had 
shot away all his arrows and chanced to be surrounded by the enemy, 
he could sometimes escape death for a long time by dodging and leap- 
ing from side to side, but finally would be killed by some of them strik- 
ing him upon the head with a warclub having a sharp spur of bone or 
ivory on one side. The defeated party was always pursued and, if 
possible, exterminated. 

The Magemut are said to have been stronger in battle than the 
Yukon men, and a larger number of the latter were always killed in a 
conflict between these two people. Neither side had any recognized 
chief, but each fought as he pleased, with the exception that some of 
the older men had general supervision and control of the expedition. 

When a man on either side had relatives in the opposing party, and 
for this reason did not wish to take part in the battle, he would blacken 
his face with charcoal and remain a noncombatant, both sides respect- 
ing his neutrality. In this event, a man with his face blackened had 
the privilege of going without danger among the people of either side 
during a truce. 

The Magemut always carried off the women after a successful raid, 
but my Yukon informant told me this was not done by his people, which 
statement was probably made merely from a desire on his part to give 
his own people the advantage in my eyes. He admitted, however, the 
superior fighting qualities of his enemies, the Magemut. 

When possible night raids were made by the villagers on both sides, 
and the people were usually clubbed or speared to death. The con- 
quered village was always pillaged, and if a warrior saw any personal 
ornament on a slain enemy which pleased him, he seized it and wore it 
himself, even placing in his lips the labrets taken from the face of a 
dead foe. If one of the conquerors chanced to see a woman wearing 
handsome beads or other ornaments, he would brain her and strip 
them off. 

The old man told me that in battles between the people of lower 
Kuskoquim river and those of Bristol bay the victors made a x>ractice 
of cutting off the heads of their slain enemies and placing them on the 
top of sharp stakes set in the ground, with arrows thrust crosswise 
through their noses. 


The last battle fought between tbe Yukon people and the Magemut 
was about the time the Russians first established themselves at St 
Michael. This light took place on a flat piece of ground at the head of 
the northern branch of the Yukon mouth. Several low mounds visible 
on this little flat are said to mark the places where the dead were left 
in a heap after the battle. 

In ancient times the Eskimo of Bering strait were constantly at war 
with one another, the people of the Diomede islands being leagued with 
the Eskimo of the Siberian shore against the combined forces of those 
on King island aud the American shore from near the head of Kotze- 
bue sound to Cape Prince of Wales and Port Clarence. An old man 
from Sledge island told me that formerly it was customary among the 
people of the Siberian coast to kill at sight any Eskimo from the Ameri- 
can shore who might have been driven by storm across the strait, 
either in umiaks or on the ice. 

I was also informed that at one time the inhabitants of the lesser 
Diomede island became angry with those of the greater Diomede 
island and united with the people of Cape Prince of Wales against 
them, but were defeated. The last war party in this district came in 
a fleet of umiaks from East cape, Siberia, and the Diomede islands, 
and sailed up Port Clarence, but meeting a large force of the American 
Eskimo, both sides agreed upon a peace, which has not since been 

During the wars formerly waged among the people living on the 
coasts and islands of Bering strait, there was in common use a kind of 
armor made of imbricated plates of walrus ivory fastened together with 
sealskin cords, Plate xcti illustrates a nearly complete set of this 
body armor, which was obtained on the Diomede islands. 

Plates of ivory for armor of this kind were seen on St Lawrence 
island, and on the Siberian shore at Cape Wankarem. 

The people about the shores of Norton and Kotzebue sounds were 
also familiar with the use of armor in ancient times. During my resi- 
dence at St Michael two or three of the natives who lived turbulent 
lives were reputed to have worn light iron armor under their fur frocks, 
which it was claimed had been purchased from vessels, and from the 
description must have been shirts of chain mail. 


The Eskimo of the lower Yukon, the Alaskan coast district of Bering 
sea, and the Arctic ocean have a considerable variety of games, both 
for outdoor and indoor amusement, and most of them have a wide 
range. The following detailed descriptions of some of them, although 
taken mainly from the Unalit of Norton sound, represent games found 
among other tribes. The greater portion of them are played while the 
men are confined to the villages during the short, cold days of winter. 

In the vicinity of St Michael and some other trading stations the 
Eskimo have learned to play cards, usually poker, and are passionately 








foDd of them; as with the southern aborigines, the Eskimo will gamble 
away everything they possess. In the descriptions of the various 
games the locality where each was observed is given, but it should be 
noted that they are not ordinarily limited to any one tribe or district, 
but, so far as could be learned, seemed to be generally distributed, 
with slight local modifications. Implements used in some of the games 
were obtained from widely separated places. 

Friendly contests in trials of strength, wrestling, etc, were much 
more common before than they have been since the arrival of white 
men, their coming Laving put a stop to the predatory raids of one vil- 
lage upon another and caused a diminution in the rivalry among the 

Fig. 120— Boy with toy sled, St Lawrence island. 

young men to excel in strength and agility which accompanied the 
more warlike spirit of other days. 

In addition to the games of the men, others are played by the women 
and children. Boys have toy hunting outfits, with models of sleds, 
kaiaks, and umiaks, and small bows and arrows for hunting birds; they 
also snare birds and set traps for mice and other small game. The girls 
play with dolls made of ivory or other material, and also have small 
models of dishes and other women's household utensils, with which 
they amuse themselves in the house very much after the maimer of 
children in civilized countries, playing at housekeeping and women's 
work of various kinds. Figure 120, from a sketch made by Mr II. W. 
Elliott on St Lawrence island, represents the boy Poonook, with his 


toy sled. In tbe background is the shelter over the entrance of the 
tunnel leading to the interior of the half-underground house, the roof of 
which appears like a mound on the right. 

During one of my sledge journeys I was storm-bound at Cape Darby, 
near Bering strait, and during the day an old man in the house where 
I stopped amused me by the ingenuity with which he made intricate 
patterns of cord, holding the loop between his extended hands after the 
manner of children making a "cat's cradle." For an hour or more he 
made a constant succession of patterns with his sinew cord, forming 
outlines of various birds and other animals of the region. The readi* 
ness with which he wove the strings in and out showed that his dex- 
terity must have been gained by long practice. I also heard of this 
form of amusement among the Eskimo along the coast southward to the 
mouth of the Kuskokwim. 

The following games are in common use throughout this region: 

First game — (St Michael). A round block about 6 inches long is 
cut into the form of a large spool, but with the flaring rim of one end 
replaced by a sharpened point. The top is from 2\ to 3 inches across 
and has a deep hole in the center. This spool-like object is planted in 
the floor of the kashim with the large end upward, and an indefinite 
number of players gather around it seated cross-legged on the floor. 
Near the spool is a small pile of short sticks, of uniform size, used as 
counters. These, with a small, pointed wooden dart, in size and shape 
almost exactly like a sharpened lead pencil, compose the implements of 
the game. The first player takes the butt of the dart between the 
thumb and forefinger, with its point upward and his hand nearly on a 
level with the spool. Then he gives the dart a deft upward toss, trying 
to cause it to take a curved course, so that it will fall with the point 
downward and remain fast in the hole at the top of the spool. If he 
succeeds he takes one of the counting sticks from the pile and tries 
again j when he misses, the dart is passed to the next player, and so 
on, until the counters are all gone, when the players count up and the 
one having the most counters is the winner. Ordinarily this game i